Leroux's Five Goals Ties U.S. National Team Record
Jan. 22, 2012
Story courtesy of U.S. Soccer
VANCOUVER, Canada - Led by Vancouver native Sydney Leroux's five-goal performance, the U.S. Women's National Team defeated Guatemala 13-0 in its second group match at the 2012 CONCACAF Olympic Women's Qualifying Tournament to earn a berth into the all-important semifinal round.
The U.S. result, combined with Mexico's 7-0 victory against the Dominican Republic in the other Group B game of the evening, clinched semifinal places for both teams. The U.S. and Mexico will meet for the group title on Tuesday, Jan. 24 at 7:30 p.m. PT (10:30 a.m. ET). The match will be televised live on Universal Sports Network and streamed live on universalsports.com and concacaf.com.
The USA, which holds a plus-15 goal differential over its southern neighbors heading into the final group match, needs a win or a draw against Mexico to win Group B and face the second-place team from Group A for a berth to the Olympics.
After scoring a team-record 14 goals in their opening match on Jan. 20 against the Dominican Republic, the U.S. found the net 13 more times to set a U.S. Women's record of 27 over a two-game stretch. That topped the previous mark of 24 goals in 1991 when the U.S. topped Mexico and Martinique by 12-0 margins on April 20 and 22 of that year. The 13 goals were the second-most scored in a game by the U.S., behind only Friday's result against the Dominican Republic.
Leroux, who earned just her second cap for the U.S., garnered Bud Light Woman of the Match honors for coming on at halftime and scoring five goals to tie a U.S. record. The goals were Leroux's first five for the senior national team after finishing her Under-20 career as the USA's all-time leading international scorer for that age level.
Abby Wambach added two goals before coming off at halftime, upping her career total to 129 and moving her past German legend Birgit Prinz into third on the world's all-time scoring list. Wambach now sits behind only two former teammates, Kristine Lilly (130) and Mia Hamm (158).
"It's astonishing (for Sydney Leroux) to come off the bench and score so many goals like Amy Rodriguez did the other day," said U.S. head coach Pia Sundhage. "I am so proud to be around this team because this never happened before; so many goals, so many great goals, and I am happy for the team and happy for Syd. It was quality for sure."
Sundhage made six changes from the starting lineup that faced the Dominican Republic two days earlier, electing to rest several players. Sundhage gave starts to Heather Mitts (who got the nod in place of the injured Ali Krieger), Kelley O'Hara, Becky Sauerbrunn, Megan Rapinoe, Lori Lindsey and Amy Rodriguez.
O'Hara, the Hermann Trophy winner as a forward following her senior year at Stanford in 2009, made just her second career start for the USA, earning her eighth cap. She played outside back for the first time in her National Team career and contributed three assists.
Lauren Cheney, Rodriguez, Carli Lloyd, Alex Morgan, Megan Rapinoe and Lindsey added single goals as eight different players scored. Lindsey's goal, a header off a cross from O'Hara in the 34th minute, was her first in 25 caps for the U.S.
Cheney's goal was unassisted in the 24th minute as she sent a deft chip over Guatemala's goalkeeper after the defense failed to clear the ball. Lloyd scored on a diving header in the 33rd minute off a cross by O'Hara from the left and Morgan converted a tap-in goal after she rounded the `keeper in the right side of the box. Mitts fed her the ball for that score.
Leroux, who grew up in Vancouver until she was 15 and moved to the United States, was born to a Canadian mother and an American father. She scored her first goal less than three minutes after entering the game and notched a true hat trick, pounding in four consecutive goals during a 23-minute span. Her five second-half goals match Rodriguez, who had five after the break just two days earlier against the Dominican Republic. Also sharing that feat of scoring five in a game are Wambach (Oct. 23, 2004 vs. Ireland), Michelle Akers (Nov. 24, 1991 vs. Chinese Taipei), Tiffeny Milbrett (Nov. 2, 2002, vs. Panama) and Brandi Chastain (April 18, 1991).
Leroux is actually the second player to register a hat trick in her second cap, following Danielle Garrett (now Fotopoulos) who scored three against Ukraine in 1996. However, she is the first U.S. player ever to score five goals in her second game.
Morgan, who paired with Leroux to win the 2008 FIFA Under-20 Women's World Cup in Chile, assisted on two of Leroux's goals, including her first in the 48th to make it 7-0. Leroux then headed one home off a perfect cross from Rodriguez in the 50th minute for an 8-0 lead.
In the 75th minute, Rapinoe ran onto a cross from Morgan in the left side of the penalty box to rip a first-time shot off the bottom of the crossbar and just over the goal line to make it 9-0.
Leroux scored another header in the 70th minute to make it 10-0 as O'Hara hustled down the left side and served into the box. Leroux wrapped up her scoring performance with a tap-in goal in the 87th minute off of a Rodriguez cross from the left.
In the early going it was Wambach who got the U.S. offense started when she netted in the 12th and 14th minutes to give the USA an early 2-0 lead. On Wambach's first goal, Rapinoe played a nice through ball that split the Guatemala defense and put Wambach in a perfect position to roll a shot with the outside of her left foot into the lower left corner net. In the 14th, Wambach met a Lauren Cheney free kick and drove a header into the ground that Guatemala goalkeeper Maricruz Lemus misjudged, allowing it to bounce over her. The second goal gave Wambach 12 tallies during CONCACAF Olympic Qualifying, setting a tournament record.
- U.S. Women's National Team Match Report -
Match: U.S. Women's National Team vs. Guatemala
GUA: 1-Maricruz Lemus; 3-Marilyn Rivera, 4-Shannon Brooks, 14-Coralia Monterroso, 20-Katherine Ramos; 11-Rocio Sosa, 17-Ana Lucia Martinez (16-Alejandra De Leon, 68), 19-Andrea Tobar; 7-Wendy Pineda (capt.), 8-Maria Monterroso (18-Idania Perez, 78), 13-Maria Pelayes (6-Amarilis Lohaiza, 46)
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