The U.S. U-20 Women's National Team, along with Illini junior standout Vanessa DiBernardo of Naperville and head coach Janet Rayfield, defeated Germany 1-0 Saturday to claim the U-20 World Cup Championship in Tokyo, Japan.
The 2012 FIFA World Cup 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.
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Germany had beaten the American squad 3-0 in earlier group play, but couldn't crack the American defense when the world title was on the line. Germany, the defending champs, had a record shutout streak of 610 minutes entering the match, but Kealia Ohai netted the eventual game-winner in the 44th minute for the American squad. American captain Julie Johnston and goalkeeper Bryane Heaberlin (5 saves) led the U.S. defensive effort.
DiBernardo, a midfielder at Illinois who starred at Waubonsie Valley, started all six contests for Team USA, compiling 543 minutes of play. DiBernardo was one of five Americans to score a goal in the tournament. Maya Hayes led the U.S. club with 4 goals, followed by Ohai with 2 goals.