Rodriguez Ties U.S. WNT Record with Five Goals While O’Reilly Adds Hat Trick With Two Assists and Wambach Scores Twice With Two Assists
Krieger Injures Right Knee and Will Undergo MRI Saturday
USA Returns to Group B Action on Jan. 22 against Guatemala at 4:30 p.m. PT/7:30 p.m. ET
The U.S. Women’s National Team rolled past a young and over-matched Dominican Republic side to open the 2012 CONCACAF Olympic Women’s Qualifying Tournament with a dominating 14-0 victory in a match played indoors at BC Place.
The 14 goals set a U.S. WNT record for most goals in a game, breaking the previous mark of 12 established during back-to-back 12-0 wins in 1991 CONCACAF Women’s World Cup Qualifying against Mexico and Martinique.
Second-half sub Amy Rodriguez tied an individual U.S. Women’s record with five goals (all in the second half) for her second career international hat trick. Abby Wambach (Oct. 23, 2004 vs. Ireland, also all five in the second half), Michelle Akers (Nov. 24, 1991, against Chinese Taipei in the FIFA Women’s World Cup), Tiffeny Milbrett (Nov. 2, 2002 in CONCACAF Women’s World Cup Qualifying) and Brandi Chastain (whose five came in that rout of Mexico on April 18, 1991) also have five-goal games to their resume.
It was the first match of the year for the U.S. Women and first-ever meeting with the Dominicans. The Americans started fast and never let up, getting a goal just 37 seconds into the match, which is believed to be the fastest goal in U.S. history, surpassing Heather O’Reilly’s goal against New Zealand in the 2008 Olympics that came just 40 seconds after the opening whistle.
O’Reilly contributed a hat trick, her first-ever for the U.S. team, and Wambach scored her 126th and 127th career goals despite only playing the first half. She is now three goals behind Kristine Lilly, who ranks second all-time in U.S. and world history with 130 goals.
The U.S. team is looking for a top-two finish in Group B in order to qualify for the semifinals, with the winners of those two matches qualifying for the 2012 London Olympics. The USA will have only one day of rest before returning to action on Sunday, Jan. 22, against Guatemala, which fell to Mexico 5-0 on Friday in the first Group B match of the day. The U.S. and Guatemala kick off Sunday’s match at 4:30 p.m. PT/7:30 p.m. ET.
“This team is ready and I think the fact we got early goals made it easier for us,” said U.S. head coach Pia Sundhage. “We got early momentum and it’s very hard to play against us when we have a good start. It’s good to play games after our training camp leading up to this where we did the hard work to prepare. We want to try to qualify for the Olympics and we care about every single game and every single goal.”
After Wambach opened the scored on a header from a perfect right-win cross off the boot of O’Reilly, the U.S. scored two more goals inside the first eight minutes. Midfielder Carli Lloyd (fourth minute) and defender Rachel Buehler (seventh minute) both knocked home rebounds of Wambach shots.
The U.S. onslaught continued in the 17th minute as O’Reilly did all the work on a dynamic dribbling run, splitting two Dominican Republic defenders before pulling goalkeeper Heidy Salazar toward the near right post and slotting the ball past her for a 4-0 lead. Just two minutes later, Wambach added her second tally of the match for a 5-0 cushion with a rolling shot that snuck underneath Salazar.
Midfielder Tobin Heath – making just her sixth career start — gave the USA a 6-0 lead in the 30th minute as O’Reilly lifted a short pass to her inside the penalty area to beat to beat the back line. Heath rounded the ‘keeper to the left and tucked the ball into the open net. In the 31st minute, O’Reilly and Cheney executed a perfect give-and-go into the ride side of the penalty area before O’Reilly smashed her shot into the left corner to make it 7-0 at halftime.
In the 40th minute, U.S. defender Ali Krieger went down with what appeared to be serious knee injury. Following her right-footed shot, the Dominican Republic’s Leonela Mojica nailed Krieger’s right leg with a reckless tackle and the U.S. right back had to be stretchered off the field. She will undergo an MRI tomorrow to determine the extent of the injury. Veteran Heather Mitts took Krieger’s place in the 43rd minute and went the rest of the way.
Sundhage used her final two substitutions at halftime, replacing Wambach with Alex Morgan and Heath with Rodriguez, whose first two touches of the game were goals. In fact, Rodriguez earned her hat trick in just 13 minutes and her five goals came in just 30. She had a golden chance to set the U.S. record near the end of the match but flew a shot over the goal from the center of the penalty area. Cheney assisted on the first two Rodriguez goals, slotting low crosses that she pushed into the net from close range to make it 9-0.
Rodriguez added her third in the 58th to get the U.S. into double-figures as she finished a rebound off a defender’s leg after Morgan had beaten a player into the left of the penalty box and crossed. Cheney then scored only goal of the game in the 64th minute after she ran onto a perfect cross from O’Reilly to volley first-time into an open net.
The USA tied its record for most goals in a game in the 69th minute with Rodriguez’ fourth of the game as she took a pass from Cheney and smashed a shot from distance into the upper right corner. Cheney dished for four assists in the match, one shy of a U.S. record. Rodriguez then broke the team record in the 75th minute after running onto a pass from Morgan. She took one touch in the penalty area and then slotted her shot inside the left post.
The U.S. also set a CONCACAF Olympic Qualifying Tournament record for most goals in a game that previously stood at eight.
On the last goal, Rodriguez turned provider, setting up O’Reilly for a tap-in volley that capped the scoring and her hat trick in the 78th minute, finishing off the most prolific scoring night in the 28-year history of the U.S. Women’s National Team.
After facing Guatemala on Sunday, the USA will finish Group B play against Mexico on Tuesday, Jan. 24 (7:30 p.m. PT/10:30 p.m. ET). The all-important semifinals take place on Friday, Jan. 27.
U.S. Women’s National Team Match Report
U.S. Women’s National Team vs. the Dominican Republic
Date: Jan. 20, 2012
Competition: 2012 CONCACAF Women’s Olympic Qualifying Tournament
Venue: BC Place Stadium; Vancouver, Canada
Kickoff: 7:30 p.m. PT
Weather: Indoors; 72 degrees
Scoring Summary: 1 2 F
USA 7 7 14
DOM 0 0 0
USA — Abby Wambach (Heather O’Reilly) 1st minute
USA — Carli Lloyd (Abby Wambach) 5
USA — Rachel Buehler (Abby Wambach) 7
USA — Heather O’Reilly (Ali Krieger) 17
USA — Abby Wambach (Carli Lloyd) 19
USA — Tobin Heath (Heather O’Reilly) 30
USA — Heather O’Reilly (Lauren Cheney) 31
USA — Amy Rodriguez (Lauren Cheney) 46
USA — Amy Rodriguez (Lauren Cheney) 48
USA — Amy Rodriguez (Unassisted) 58
USA — Lauren Cheney (Heather O’Reilly) 64
USA — Amy Rodriguez (Lauren Cheney) 69
USA — Amy Rodriguez (Alex Morgan) 75
USA — Heather O’Reilly (Amy Rodriguez) 78
USA: 1-Hope Solo; 11-Ali Krieger (2-Heather Mitts, 43), 19-Rachel Buehler, 3-Christie Rampone (capt.), 6-Amy LePeilbet; 9-Heather O’Reilly, 10-Carli Lloyd, 7-Shannon Boxx, 12-Lauren Cheney, 17-Tobin Heath (8-Amy Rodriguez, 46); 20-Abby Wambach (13-Alex Morgan, 46)
Subs not used: 4-Becky Sauerbrunn, 5-Kelley O’Hara, 14-Sydney Leroux, 15-Megan Rapinoe, 16-Lori Lindsey, 18-Nicole Barnhart
Head coach: Pia Sundhage
DOM: 12-Heidy Salazar (capt.); 5-Ana Odaliza Diaz, 6-Yesenia Sencion De Maria Lopez (18-Oliva Santana, 51), 2-Carmen Miguelina Polanco, 4-Lissi Maria Sanchez, 3-Denny Vargas; 20-Ana Brenda Frias, 13-Leonela Mojica, 15-Jocelyn Raquel Rodriguez (16-Katherine Rodriguez, 88); 10-Yaqueisi Alexandra Nunez, 11-Betzaida Ubri Mateo
Subs not used: 1-Isairis Isabel Minaya, 7-Loida Michel De Jesus, 8-Diana Elizabeth Santana, 9-Anajaira Maciel Caudio, 14-Amanda Rodriguez, 19-Gabriela Pena
Not eligible: 17-Johanna Santelis
Head coach: Rufino Sotolongo
Statistical Summary: USA / DOM
Shots: 49 / 3
Shots on Goal: 25 / 1
Saves: 1 / 9
Corner Kicks: 9 / 0
Fouls: 7 / 3
Offside: 9 / 1
Misconduct Summary: None
Referee: Cardella Samuels (JAM)
AR1: Stacy Greyson (JAM)
AR2: Kimberly Moriera (CRC)
4th Official: Maria Flores (CRC)
Bud Light Woman of the Match: