EAST HARTFORD, Oct. 23 – Playing in a steady downpour, the U.S. women’s national soccer team battled No. 2 Germany to a 2-2 tie before 18,870 fans at Rentschler Field on Tuesday night — a fact that impressed the American players.
Abby Wambach scored her 148th career goal with about a minute left in the first half to give the top-ranked Americans a 1-0 lead. Wambach scored on, of course, a header into the net off a cross passing across the goal mouth from forward Alex Morgan. “ I got a little deflection so there was wicked spin on the ball which made it really difficult for the goalkeeper to read the bounce and the bounce just skipped straight to my head,” Wambach said.
Morgan assisted on a goal by Tobin Health with 23 minutes left in the game to give the Americans a 2-1 lead. But Germany tied the game with about five minutes left in regulation as the two teams battled to a tie for the second time in four days.
“I thought the crowd was really great,” Morgan said. “When we came out to warm up, I was a little nervous for the crowd because I wouldn’t want to be sitting in the rain for an hour-and-a-half, but they showed up huge and they were loud and on their feet the whole time. I really have to give them credit.”
The atmosphere and energy in the stadium impressed Wambach. “I think that that is probably the most spectacular part of what happened tonight,” she said. “It’s an amazing sight, seeing the rain come off the lights and you’re playing against one of the best teams in the world. You’ve got a gold medal back in the locker room. We’re going to walk away from these games and get some good things from it.”
The crowds have been solid across the country for the tour with several sellout crowds. “It’s the growth of the sport and the success that we had in the World Cup followed by the Olympics and it’s where women’s soccer should be,” U.S. goalie Hope Solo said. “It’s exciting and you can see the fans aren’t just the screaming girls, but they’re very knowledgeable fans. You can tell that they know when to cheer, you can feel the game and the energy in the stands and that’s what we love. Tonight was a great crowd and I give them props for coming out in the rain.”
Team USA moved to 3-0-2 in the Fan Tribute Tour, a celebration of the team’s run to a fourth gold medal at the 2012 London Olympics.
Morgan (24 goals) and Wambach (23) have combined to score 47 goals this year – the second highest goals in one year by any duo in team history. The record is 55 goals by Michelle Akers (39) and Carin Jennings (16) in 1991.
The Americans are 5-2-1 in Connecticut and 3-0-1 at Rentschler Field. The Americans had won their last five matches in Connecticut by a combined score of 20-1. The most recent game at Rentschler Field was a 3-0 win over Sweden on July 17, 2010.
Team USA is 4-0-2 in games as the No. 1 ranked team in the world when facing the No. 2 ranked team.
United States 2, Germany 2
At East Hartford
USA 1 1 — 2
Germany 0 2 – 2
Goals: U.S. – Abby Wambach, 44 (Alex Morgan), Tobin Heath 67 (Morgan); Germany – Dzenifer Marozsan 48, 85.
USA: 1-Hope Solo; 6-Amy LePeilbet (2-Heather Mitts, 57) (11-Sydney Leroux, 84), 4-Becky Sauerbrunn, 3-Christie Rampone (capt.), 5-Kelley O’Hara (16-Rachel Buehler, 57); 9-Heather O’Reilly (17-Tobin Heath, 63), 7-Shannon Boxx, 10-Carli Lloyd, 15-Megan Rapinoe (12-Lauren Cheney, 46); 13-Alex Morgan, 14-Abby Wambach; Head coach: Jill Ellis
GER: 1-Nadine Angerer (capt.); 3-Saskia Bartusiak, 4-Babett Peter, 5-Annike Krahn, 15-Verena Faisst, 22-Luisa Wensing; 6-Simone Laudehr (17-Viola Odebrecht, 46), 10-Linda Bresonik, 20-Lena Goessling; 9-Alexandra Popp (14-Dzenifer Marozsan, 46), 11-Anja Mittag (24-Lena Lotzen, 78); Head coach: Silvia Neid
Shots: 25-14, Germany; Shots on goal: 9-5, Germany; Saves: 6-3, USA; Corner kicks: 7-3, Germany; Fouls: Germany 8-6; Offsides: 5-3, USA