Illinois' DiBernardo Wins U20 World Cup Title
TOKYO, Japan. - The U.S. U-20 Women's National Team, along with Illini junior standout Vanessa DiBernardo and head coach Janet Rayfield, defeated Germany, 1-0, to claim the U-20 World Cup Championship. The world title is the third championship the squad has claimed after earning the U-19 World Cup in 2002 and the U-20 World Cup in 2008.
In group play, Germany bested the American squad 3-0, but on the day where the World Title was on the line, the Americans prevailed. The odds were in the Germans favor, as the defending champs had produced a record shutout streak of 610 minutes. However, in the 44th minute, The U.S.' Kealia Ohai netted the eventual game-winner.The play was manufactured by right back Crystal Dunn who flew down the right side of the field in Germany's defensive third, then booted a low cross into the middle of the box. Next, Ohai struck the ball to the upper left corner for the 1-0 lead in which the stout U.S. defense would protect.
Illini Vanessa DiBernardo started in all six contests in the world cup, compiling 543 minutes of play. In addition, DiBernardo was one of five Americans to produce a goal throughout the tournament.
DiBernardo and Rayfield will now return to Champaign, Illinois, to rejoin the Fighting Illini in time for the Big Ten opener against Iowa on Sept. 16.