BATON ROUGE – While being recruited to LSU as one of the world’s leading left backs at the youth level, New Zealand native Megan Lee put her offensive talents on display on Thursday by scoring both goals for the Junior Football Ferns in their 2-1 victory over Australia in the first of a three-game Under-20 series being held this weekend.
Lee struck twice from long range with a goal in each half to lead New Zealand to the 2-1 victory in the match played in her hometown of Auckland on Thursday afternoon.
With the victory, the Junior Football Ferns have taken a 1-0 series lead in the three-game set as the Under-20 New Zealand Women’s National Team will face Australia in Auckland again on Saturday and Monday.
Lee was called into the side to play left back during the series, but took the pitch as a starting striker on the left side as the teams prepared for kickoff. That decision by the coaching staff paid immediate dividends with Lee finding the back of the net in the opening minutes to give New Zealand a lead they would not relinquish.
According to the official match report on New Zealand Football’s official website at www.nzfootball.co.nz, Lee fired a strike off the crossbar in the opening minute before giving the Ferns a 1-0 lead just minutes later as she rifled a right-footed strike into the top corner of the net. She then netted her second goal of the match just minutes after the second-half kickoff with another scintillating strike from outside the area as she picked off an errant pass on the left side and cut back across the top of the box for a right-footed strike to give New Zealand a 2-0 lead.
Australia pulled one back with just five minutes to go to cut the lead to 2-1, but New Zealand held strong over the final moments to earn a thrilling victory in the first of three games in the series.
Lee is sure to slide into place as LSU’s starting left back when the 2013 collegiate season kicks off in August as she has proven herself as one of the world’s top defensive talents at the youth level. Before signing for LSU on National Signing Day in February, Lee served as New Zealand’s starting left back at the FIFA Under-17 Women’s World Cup held in Azerbaijan last fall.
She has also seen her first action with the senior New Zealand Women’s National Team already this year, highlighted by an international tour with matches against the likes of Australia and Japan back in June.
“We saw that kind of versatility in Megan when scouting her during the recruiting process before she ultimately decided to sign with LSU earlier this year,” said LSU head coach Brian Lee. “She’s really made her name at the youth level as a very talented left back, but she clearly has the ability to play left wing or even up top for us as needed when she joins us for preseason training in a couple of weeks.
“We’re excited to have Megan and very talented players like her joining us this fall and also getting ready to sign with LSU in the coming years. The future certainly looks very bright for our program going forward.”