Friday, October 3, 2003

Germany rolls over Russia with outburst in second half

Women's World Cup

The Associated Press

[IMAGE] Germany's Kerstin Stegemann (left) defends against Russia's Alexandra Svetlitskaya (8) in the first half of Germany's 7-1 win.
(Associated Press photo)
PORTLAND, Ore. - Germany scored three goals in a five-minute span of the second half Thursday to rout Russia 7-1 in the quarterfinals of the Women's World Cup.

The Germans, who have outscored their World Cup competition 20-3 while going 4-0, play the United States in the semifinals on Sunday, also at Portland's PGE Park.

Birgit Prinz and Kerstin Garefrekes each scored twice for Germany, which had six second-half goals.

Sandra Minnert began Germany's goal flurry with a header off a corner kick by Stefanie Gottsclich that made it 2-0 in the 57th minute. Pia Wunderlich, who had just entered the game, took a feed off the back of Prinz's foot and scored from in front of the net in the 60th minute. Garefrekes scored two minutes later to make it 4-0.

Prinz scored her fifth World Cup goal in the 81st minute and, after Garefrekes scored again, added her sixth in the 89th minute.

Russia averted a shutout with Elena Danilova's goal in the 72nd minute.

Germany, ranked third in the world behind the United States and China, has never lost to Russia in women's soccer. The Germans are 9-0-2 in the series, outscoring the Russians 36-3.

Russian goalkeeper Alla Volkova had allowed only two goals in her first three World Cup matches.

U.S. TEAM: Karl Malone has nothing on Abby Wambach. Kevin McHale has nothing on Cindy Parlow.

If ever a women's soccer team has presented two power forwards for opponents to deal with, it's the current American squad that has reached the semifinals of the World Cup. Wambach and Parlow both are 5-foot-11, both excel in the air and both have played huge roles.

Wambach, a Cup newcomer, has three goals in four games, including a header for the only score in Wednesday night's 1-0 victory over Norway. A former basketball player in Rochester, N.Y., she knows all about boxing out, establishing good position and going after the ball.

"Sometimes you have to have that mentality of being like a basketball player," she said. "You have to find any way you can to get behind them or over them. Obviously, our presence can be the difference out there."

And it has been, particularly the sturdy Wambach.

"I've run into her," said Mia Hamm, Wambach's teammate with the WUSA champion Washington Freedom. "I wouldn't want that."

Parlow isn't quite as solid or as rugged. A member of the 1999 world champions, her all-around game has improved steadily in the last four years. She's upgraded her ball skills, especially her dribbling, and her defense.

The wily Parlow, who is slower than Wambach, is more likely to feint defenders. Wambach might run directly toward them, hoping they will faint.

"I think I play the best when I'm dirty," Wambach said with a smile. "When I have mud covering me from head to toe, you know I played a good game. If I come off the field without any grass stains, I wonder, 'What did I do out there?' "

Playing alongside Parlow and Wambach is easy, Hamm said.

"All I have to do is look for CP and Abby in there, and they aren't hard to spot," she said. "Then they do the rest."

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