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Two goals for Keller as U.S. women blank New Zealand
May 30th, 1998 12AM

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Debbie Keller scored twice and Lorrie Fair tallied her first international goal as the U.S. women's national team crushed New Zealand, 5-0, at RFK Stadium May 30. In front of a sun-bathed and enthusiastic crowd of 46,037, the U.S. team had little trouble with New Zealand, scoring just six minutes into the game when 20-year-old forward Cindy Parlow hammered home Joy Fawcett's rolling cross. "We played a dynamic attacking match," said U.S. coach Tony DiCicco. "We played hard for 90 minutes and Debbie Keller definitely showed why I think we have 18 starters on this team. It's a great feeling for a coach when your team plays a solid overall game." Keller scored her goals just three minutes apart in the 15th and 18th minutes, both off thunderous finishes. The first came when Milbrett touched a short pass back to Keller, who cracked a shot from 13 yards out that New Zealand goalkeeper Rachel Howard got a hand on, but could only push off the left post before it settled into the net. Keller scored her second when she pounced on a loose ball at the top of the penalty box and hit a vicious bending shot into the right corner that left Howard frozen on her line. It was the eighth goal in the last eight games for Keller, who prior to the streak had scored just three international goals. Keller started again in place of the injured Mia Hamm, who is out with a pulled hamstring but should return for the USA's two matches against Germany in late June. "We definitely miss Mia out there and we can't wait for her to come back," said Keller. "She adds so much to our team, not only through scoring, but also in creating opportunities for everyone else." "If Debbie keeps scoring," added DiCicco. "It will be tough to keep her on the bench." The U.S. held onto the 3-0 lead until the second half, when Fair, the youngest player on the U.S. roster at 19, scored her first international goal in the 54th minute on a beautifully struck shot from 20 yards that dipped into the left corner past the fully-extended Howard. Fair then set up the final goal, putting Tiffeny Milbrett behind the New Zealand defense with a perfectly-weighted through ball in the 77th minute. Milbrett beat Howard to the ball and slipped it under the charging goalkeeper from seven yards out. The USA played the final ten with only ten players after defender Brandi Chastain left the match suffering from a mild case of heat stroke and the Americans had used all their substitutes. The two teams will square off again on June 2 in Oneonta, N.Y., in a match played in conjunction with the induction ceremony at the National Soccer Hall of Fame. April Heinrichs, the captain of the 1991 U.S. world champions, will be the first female player inducted into the Hall of Fame. "Any game helps us in our preparations for the 1999 Women's World Cup," said team captain Carla Overbeck. "New Zealand fought until the end and I'm sure they will give us a difficult match on Tuesday." May 30 in Washington, D.C. USA 5 New Zealand 0. Goals: Parlow 6, Keller 15, 18, Fair 54, Milbrett 77. USA -- Scurry, Overbeck, Pearce (Fair, 46), Chastain, Fawcett (MacMillan, 46), Foudy (Venturini, 46), Akers (Sobrero, 50), Lilly, Parlow (Roberts, 46), Keller, Milbrett New Zealand -- Howard, Corner (Simpson, 64), T.McCahill, Ruscoe, Jarden, Haskell (Carlisle, 73), M.McCahill, Oliver, Anderson (Jackman, 67), Henderson (Smith, 79), Crawford. Yellow cards: none. Referee: Sandra Hunt (USA). Att.: 46,037.


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