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Sept. 1, 1991 – U.S. 1:2 Norway, NE Sports Museum Challenge Cup at Tufts University Ellis Oval, Medford, Mass. (Att.: 4,752)

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The first four-figure home crowds in U.S. Women’s National Team history witnessed previews of the inaugural Women’s World Championship final matchup.

Norwood’s Deb Belkin, a former UMass star, set up Kristine Lilly off a 33rd-minute corner kick as the U.S. opened the scoring. Hege Riise equalized and Agnete Carlsen’s 89th-minute drive past Kim Maslin decided the match.

The crowd might have been twice the size, counting those standing outside the chain link fence, for the match. Organizers set up a sideline seat for National Soccer Hall of Fame historian Sam Foulds, whose family had been involved in the U.S. game since the early 1900s.

“That changed the way women’s soccer was viewed in the world,’’ said Boston College assistant coach Mike LaVigne, who helped promote the games, in a 2011 interview in The Boston Globe. “That showed you could actually put on a women’s game and sell out a stadium, have the game on national television, and make money.’’

Aug. 30, 1991 – U.S. 0:1 Norway, New England Sports Museum Challenge Cup at Willowbrook Park, New Britain, Conn.  (Att.: 5,563)

The U.S. would take a 2-1 victory over Norway in the WWC final in Guangzhou, China, on Nov. 30, 1991.


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