U.S. WOMEN'S SOCCER EXHIBITION

Ellertson goal helps U.S. women edge China

December 14, 2008

CARSON, Calif. -- Tina Ellertson scored her first international goal to give the United States a 1-0 victory over China in a women's soccer exhibition Saturday night.

Goalkeeper Hope Solo made four saves for her 13th shutout of the year and the 41st of her international career.

Kristine Lilly, who has played in more international soccer games than any man or woman, made her first appearance since October. Lilly, who gave birth in June, entered in the 55th minute to extend her record to 341 games.

"It was fun to play again," Lilly said. "Physically, I feel pretty good. These players are stronger and quicker so my steps aren't as quick. I'm still getting into shape but I'm in a good spot right now for the 2 1/2 months I've been training."

Ellertson, who gave birth in May and missed the Olympics in Beijing, scored in the 61st minute in her first start as a forward for the United States.

"I haven't scored in four years; it means the world to me," said Ellertson, who played forward at Washington from 2001-04 before shifting to defense for the United States.

Amy Rodriguez took Shannon Boxx's pass at the left wing, beat defender Liu Hua Na and sent a crossing pass to Ellertson, who converted from 6 yards inside the right post.

"A-Rod is just so technical and so fast," Ellertson said. "I saw her coming up on the left side and I was a little bit behind her. But I held up just long enough so that the defender didn't know I was sneaking in behind. It worked out perfect."

China's best chance to tie came in the 66th minute on Han Duan's 3-yard header off Bi Yuan's corner kick, but Solo deflected the shot.

The United States extended its unbeaten streak to 12 games and has conceded only one goal in the past eight.

Both teams will play again Wednesday night in Detroit.


Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press