January 23, 2016
First-half hat trick leads USWNT 5-0 over Ireland
SAN DIEGO---Carli Lloyd scored a first half hat trick as the United States Women's National Team cruised to a 5-0 win over Ireland in front of 23,329 fans at Qualcomm Stadium Saturday.
|Carli Lloyd led the way with three goals as the US Women shut out Ireland 5-0 on Saturday.
Linda Cuttone/Sports Vue Images
Alex Morgan, playing in her 100th international game, added a fourth goal, and Mallory Pugh, playing in her first, closed out the scoring.
Lloyd, the 2015 FIFA World Female Player of the Year, scored a natural hat trick in less than 22 minutes before being subbed out at halftime. Lloyd opened the scoring in the 6th minute on a play that began with a Tobin Heath throw in from the near side. Morgan received the ball in the area and played a short ball through the box for Lloyd to finish.
Lloyd's second goal came in the 22nd minute, heading in a ball from Morgan. Lloyd was shaken up on the play after colliding with a defender who was also going up for the ball, but remained in the game.
Six minutes later Lloyd finished out her hat trick, taking advantage of poor defense by Ireland. After a goal kick didn't make it to midfield, the ball came back through the defense. Morgan slipped the ball through and an Irish defender tried to play it back to netminder Emma Byrne. Lloyd broke past the defender and beat Byrne to the ball to score.
Morgan made it 4-0 just before halftime, when a header by Lloyd kissed off the right post and Morgan headed it in.
Pugh, a highly-touted high school player who is expected to enroll at UCLA, scored her first international goal in the 83rd minute. Christen Press made a run to the end line and slipped the ball in front of goal for 17-year-old Pugh to finish with a header.
The game is the only tune up the United States will have before opening Olympic Qualifying next month.