Written by Dylan Newman
This is the Swiss’s first major tournament, after previously failing to qualify for the past six Women’s World Cups and past eleven European Championships. The Swiss, however, dominated their qualifying group this year as the national team looks to be on a rise, as they are ranked nineteenth in the world by FIFA.
History of Switzerland’s FIFA World Ranking from FIFA
2011 World Cup Qualifying
For the 2011 World Cup Qualifying, the Swiss received a favorable draw in the group stage as they were placed with Russia, Ireland, Romania, Israel, and Kazakhstan. In order to advance, the Swiss would need to win the group and face off against other UEFA group winners in the final round of qualification. Qualification for the 2011 tournament began in 2009 for the Swiss.
In their first match, the Swiss got off to a hot start, as Martina Moser Lara Dickenmann scored two second half goals giving them a win over the Republic of Ireland. Four days later, the Swiss, quickly found themselves down 2-0 as they faced off against a strong Russian team. Isabelle Meyer scored a late goal for the Swiss, but it wasn’t enough, as Russia won 2-1 (Uefa). The next competitive match for the Swiss took place in October against Israel. Sandy Maendly opened the scoring for the Swiss in the fifty-fifth minute; however, Caroline Abbe scored an own goal which tied the game at one a piece. Abbe ended up making up for the mistake as she put away the game winner in stoppage time, giving the Swiss six points in three games after their 2-1 victory (UEFA). In the next matchup, in March 2010, the Swiss had a rematch with Israel, in which Abbe opened the scoring. Then, Maya Barqui and Abbe each scored and Israel scored an own goal, giving the Swiss a 4-0 lead. Lara Dickenmann and Ana Maria Crnogorcevic both scored as the Swiss won 6-0 (UEFA).
In their fifth match, the Swiss defeated Israel 2-1. At this point, the Swiss and the Russians both had 12 points; however, Switzerland had played one more match than Russia. The match in Russia seemed as if it would determine the fate of the group, as if Russia won, it would be hard for the Swiss to make up the deficit. Selena Kuster scored a quick opening goal in the eighteenth minute for the Swiss, and the Russians went into the locker room down 1-0 at halftime. The game was incredibly tense, but Ramona Bachmann scored a goal in the seventy-seventh and seventy-eighth minutes to give the Swiss a 3-0 win as Swiss kept their hopes alive (UEFA).
Group Six Standings After Six of Eight Swiss Matches from UEFA
Ramona Bachmann opened up the scoring in the next match against bottom-dweller Kazakhstan, but Kazakhstan’s Maria Yalova tied the game back up at one the next minute. The trend continued, as Dickenmann again scored for the Swiss while Yalova tied the match up the following minute. However, another Dickenmann goal was scored in the fifty-sixth minute, and this time, the goal scored in the fifty seventh minute was one by the Swiss, which propelled them to a 4-2 victory over Kazakhstan (UEFA). This gave the Swiss the group victory, but the Swiss still took care of business by defeating Kazakhstan once again, but this time they won 8-0 thanks to five goals from Ana Maria Cmogorcevic and two from Martina Moser (UEFA).
Final Group Six Standings from Wikipedia
In the following round, the Swiss were drawn against England, where the winner would advance to the 2011 Women’s World Cup in Germany while the loser would still have a chance to qualify through the backdoor. England shut out the Swiss in the first match, 2-0, and got out to a quick lead in the second match, and ended up winning the series 5-2 on aggregate (UEFA). This sent the Swiss to the backdoor, where they would have to win two series and then have the chance to play a team from CONCACAF if they wanted to qualify for the tournament. The first matchup was a home and away match against Denmark, and Ana Maria Cmogorcevic got the Swiss out to fast start, as they won the first match and the series by a score of 3-1 (UEFA). Switzerland then faced off against Italy, but were never really in the series as they fell 5-2, eliminating the Swiss from 2011 World Cup Qualifying (UEFA).
2013 European Championships Qualifying
For the 2013 European Championships, the Swiss were drawn into an incredibly hard group with Germany, Spain, Romania, Turkey, and familiar foes Kazakhstan. The Swiss never really stood a chance, finishing the group in forth place with fifteen points, thirteen behind group winners Germany.
Group 2 Standings from Wikipedia
The Swiss did impress again in their first game against Kazakhstan, winning 8-1 behind three Dickenmann goals and impressed later on as they defeated Spain 4-3 on the seventh matchday. However, the Swiss struggled against strong competition, losing 4-1 and 6-0 against Germany. In the Swiss’ last, albeit meaningless, match, the Swiss fell to Kazakhstan 1-0, which could give some a cause for concern. Ramona Bachmann impressed scoring eleven goals in the group stage, which placed her second behind Germany’s Mbabi. Ana Maria Cmogorcevic and Lara Dickenmann both scored five goals and showed some flashes of brilliance (UEFA).
2015 World Cup Qualifying
Switzerland were given a favorable draw into Group Three, with Iceland, Israel, Denmark, Serbia, and Malta. With Ramona Bachmann, Ana Maria Cmogorcevic and Lara Dickenmann, the Swiss stood as good of a chance as ever to qualify for their first major tournament. They got off to an incredibly hot start in their first match against Serbia, as Bachmann scored two, Dickenmann scored one, and Cmogorcevic scored four to give the Swiss a 9-0 win (UEFA). Bachmann and Dickenmann continued their scoring streak in the next match, both putting home one, as Switzerland defeated Iceland 2-0 (UEFA). In the third game, Ramona Bachmann further continued her scoring streak, scoring the lone goal of the game as the Swiss beat Denmark 1-0 (UEFA). Unfortunately for Bachmann, scoring streak came to an end versus Israel, but Fabienne Humm scored a hat-trick as the Swiss won 5-0. Humm continued her scoring streak in the next match, scoring two against Malta, as Bachmann got back on the board and Dickenmann scored a hat-trick, giving the Swiss an 11-0 win (UEFA). At this point, the Swiss looked to be in pretty smooth sailing to qualify from the group, but they had played more matches than other teams.
Standings from Group Three from UEFA
The next Swiss match against Denmark was a bit of a shocker, as they found themselves down for the first time in qualification. Dickenmann saved the Swiss as she scored a sixty-fourth minute penalty, which tied the game up 1-1 (UEFA). That would be the only time the Swiss dropped points in this qualifying stage, as The Swiss went on to win their last four matches 3-0 9-0, 7-0, and 5-0 as they won the group and qualified for their first Women’s World Cup (UEFA).
Group Three Final Standings from Wikipedia
Switzerland had the three leading and five of the top six goal scorers of the group. Dickenmann scored ten goals, leading the group, as Crnogorcevic placed second with nine and Bachmann scored eight (UEFA).
2015 Women’s World Cup
Ladbrokes does not expect too much out of Switzerland, giving them 50-1 odds to win. Dickenmann, Crnogorcevic, and Bachmann will have to lead the Swiss to have much of a chance, but it appears as if this is the beginning of the Swiss’s golden age.
The Swiss were drawn into Group C, with Japan, Cameroon, and Ecuador. Japan will be a challenging team; however, I expect the Swiss to finish second in the group, as they should be able to handily defeat Ecuador and Cameroon.
Player to Watch: Lara Dickenmann
The three of Dickenmann, Crnogorcevic, and Bachmann will be worth watching, but especially Dickenmann.
Lara Dickenmann from Wikimedia
Dickenmann is a Swiss midfielder who was raised in Switzerland, but came to the United States to play soccer in college. She was named the Big Ten Freshman of the Year after her stellar first year at The Ohio State University in which she scored thirteen goals and had twelve assists. Her performances that season also gave her Second-Team All-American Honors. In Dickenmann’s sophomore season, she did not play much for Ohio State due to national team call ups. In her junior season, she continued her successes in an Ohio State uniform as she was named Ohio State MVP and First-Team All-American while being on the Hermann Trophy Watchlist (Dickenmann).
Highlight video of Lara Dickenmann’s college goals
Lara’s professional career is just as successful as her college career. Dickenmann origionally stayed in the United States playing for the New Jersey Wildcats, where she scored eight goals in eight games. Then, the following year for Jersey Sky Blue, she scored eighteen goals in eleven games. She later went to Olympique Lyon, where she has made one-hundred-eleven appearances and scored thirty five goals (Dickenmann). She is most known for her 2011 Champions League Final game winning goal versus Turbine Potsdam of Germany (UEFA). Dickenmann will be the one to watch out for when watching the Swiss National Team. Check out her personal website at http://www.laradickenmann.com/ to learn more about her.
Blogspot. Swiss 2015 Team Image.
Dickenmann, Laura. http://www.laradickenmann.com/. 4 Apr. 2015.
UEFA. Russia 2 Switzerland 1. http://www.uefa.com/womensworldcup/matches/season=2011/round=2000048/match=2001067/index.html
UEFA. Israel 1 Switzerland 2. http://www.uefa.com/womensworldcup/matches/season=2011/round=2000048/match=2001116/index.html
UEFA. Switzerland 6 Israel 0. http://www.uefa.com/womensworldcup/matches/season=2011/round=2000048/match=2001063/index.html
UEFA. Switzerland 3 Russia 0.
UEFA. Switzerland 4 Kazakhastan 2. http://www.uefa.com/womensworldcup/matches/season=2011/round=2000048/match=2001117/index.html
UEFA. Switzerland 8 Kazakhstan 0. http://www.uefa.com/womensworldcup/matches/season=2011/round=2000048/match=2001064/index.html
UEFA. England 5 Switzerland 0. http://www.uefa.com/womensworldcup/matches/season=2011/round=2000049/match=2003218/report/index.html
UEFA. Switzerland 3 Denmark 1. http://www.uefa.com/womensworldcup/matches/season=2011/round=2000050/match=2003221/index.html
UEFA. Switzerland 2 Italy 5. http://www.uefa.com/womensworldcup/matches/season=2011/round=2000051/match=2003226/index.html
UEFA Qualifying. http://www.uefa.com/womenseuro/matches/season=2013/round=2000256/index.html
How to cite this article: “Switzerland” Written by Dylan Newman (2015), World Cup 2015, Soccer Politics Blog, Duke University. http://sites.duke.edu/wcwp/world-cup-guides/world-cup-2015-guide/players-to-watch-at-the-2015-womens-world-cup/switzerland/