|Photo Credit: concacaf.com|
Saturday, January 21, 2012
Record Setting Night for U.S. Women
The U.S. Women's Soccer Team kicked off 2012 Olympic Qualifying in style. Abby Wambach scored less than 40 seconds into their match with the Dominican Republic and they never looked back. When the dust finally settled, the U.S. women set a record with a 14-0 win highlighted by 5 second half goals from substitute Amy Rodriguez. Rodriguez becomes just the 5th women in U.S. Women's National Team history to score 5 goals in a match joining Wambach, Michelle Akers, Tiffeny Milbrett and Brandi Chastain.
Heather O'Reilly added 3 goals and 3 assists for her first career hat trick, Lauren Cheney had a goal and 4 assists - just one of the U.S. record, and Wambach had 2 goals and 2 assists moving her just three goals shy of Kristine Lilly, the U.S.'s second all time leading scorer at 130 goals. It was a slaughter. The 14 goals were the most ever for the U.S. breaking their previous record of 12 set back in 1991 in back to back wins over Martinique and Mexico. The Dominicans, ranked 88th in the world, started 3 players 18 or younger and were clearly over matched by the top team in the world. Unofficial shot totals have the U.S. outshooting the Dominican Republic 49-3 in the game and 25-1 in the first half.
Not all the news was good for the U.S. though as they saw defender Ali Krieger go down with what appeared to be serious knee injury late in the first half. She'll be further evaluated today to determine the extent of the injury. If it's as bad as feared, this is a huge loss for the U.S. as Krieger was one of just four U.S. players to play all 600 minutes during the 2011 World Cup and because of her performance was named to the Fox Soccer's Best 11 as the right back. Heather Mitts replaced her in the match and played the rest of the way. The U.S. also has Becky Sauerbrunn who can play along the back line.
The U.S. continues Olympic Qualifying tomorrow against Guatemala. Guatemala lost their opener to Mexico by a score of 5-0 highlighted by a hat trick from Maribel Domínguez. The U.S. will finish group play against Mexico on Tuesday. The top two teams from each group advance to the semifinals with the two semifinal winners qualifying for the 2012 Olympics.