Shannon Smyth (Mequon/Milwaukee DSHA) played all 180 minutes as the Republic of Ireland closed out its UEFA Women's World Cup 2015 qualifying campaign with a win over Slovakia and a loss to powerhouse Germany over the past week.
Ireland finished third in Group 1 with a 5-3-2 record in the five-team, round-robin competition. Germany (10-0-0) beat the visiting Irish 2-0 on Wednesday in Heidenheim to close out its perfect qualifying slate – the Germans already had clinched the group title and a berth in next year's Women's World Cup in Canada.
The seven group winners earned Women's World Cup spots, with Spain, Switzerland, Sweden, Norway, England and France joining Germany in doing so. The top four second-place finishers – Scotland, Ukraine, Netherlands and Italy – will contest playoffs for the final UEFA berth in the 24-team field. Russia (7-2-1) took second in Group 1, five points ahead of the Irish.
Smyth, who plays for Amazon Grimstad in Norway's Toppserien, has 34 caps for the Republic of Ireland – the Irish have never qualified for a Women's World Cup or a UEFA European Championship tournament. They beat Slovakia 1-0 on Saturday in Dublin, getting the lone goal in the 2nd minute of second-half stoppage time.