Work in Sports
U.S. routs Mexico 8-0 at U.S. Women's Cup
Posted: Saturday May 06, 2000 10:12 AM
PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) -- The U.S. women's soccer team didn't get to be the best in the world by easing up on opponents. So when the Americans built a 4-0 halftime lead on overmatched Mexico, they were just getting started.
Shannon MacMillan scored two goals and Mia Hamm added a goal and three assists as the United States continued its dominance of the U.S. Women's Cup with an 8-0 rout of Mexico on Friday night.
After three weeks of grueling practices in California, the U.S. team was itching to get out and run. It hadn't played since an unsatisfying 0-0 tie with Iceland in Charlotte, N.C., on April 8. The Americans' last win had come three days earlier, 8-0 over Iceland.
"Coming off the Iceland game, we had some fury in us," MacMillan said. "We wanted to come after them, and we kept the rhythm of the game going. The dynamic pace that we set, we definitely got a lot out of it."
Team USA has won this tournament all six years it has been held, outscoring opponents 87-8 in 19 games.
Tiffeny Milbrett, who along with MacMillan got most of the cheers from their sparse hometown crowd, added a goal as the Americans were never threatened by the smaller, more disorganized Mexican team.
"This game was tremendous," coach April Heinrichs said. "This is a confidence kind of game. If the goals are soft, if your opponent rolls over and dies, then you don't get anything out of it. But I don't think Mexico quit. I can't think of a cheap goal."
Exploiting a considerable advantage in quickness, seven players scored for the Americans, including Kristine Lilly, who extended her world record by playing in her 199th international game for the U.S. team.
Lilly, who played her first game with the national squad in 1987 at the age of 16, will reach 200 caps if she plays in Sunday's championship against Canada. The closest player to Lilly - man or woman -- is Hamm, who has 190 appearances.
While the veteran players from last year's World Cup title run provided most of the highlights, many of the younger U.S. players got a chance to make their mark with Heinrichs, who likely will have three open spots on the 18-player Olympic roster.
Young U.S. goalkeepers Siri Mullinix and Hope Solo, an 18-year-old freshman at the University of Washington, combined for the shutout in place of starter Briana Scurry, who is sitting out the tournament with a thigh injury.
Nikki Serlenga, 21, playing in just her fourth game, scored her second international goal in the 25th minute to push the lead to 3-0. Lorrie Fair, 21, and Christie Welsh, 19, also scored goals for the Americans. Welsh has six goals in nine games.
"Our job is to get the younger players to meld in with us," MacMillan said. "Just in the last few weeks, the team is already looking great. Everyone is stepping up, and the competitiveness we had in camp has just been tremendous. It's making everybody a better player for it."
MacMillan opened the scoring on a penalty kick in just the third minute. Hamm was brought down from behind by Fabiola Vargas to draw the penalty. Lilly dribbled past a defender and fired a shot into the left corner of the goal for a 2-0 lead in the 22nd minute.
Milbrett rebounded her own shot off Mexican keeper Linnea Quinonez for a 4-0 lead. Milbrett has scored in each of the United States' four games played in Portland.
Despite the draw of the Mexican team on Cinco de Mayo, only 6,517 fans braved the chill to watch both games at Civic Stadium. A crowd of 23,325 turned out for Team USA's "sendoff" match for the World Cup last summer.
In the early game, Andrea Neil's header in the 71st minute gave Canada a 1-0 victory over South Korea. The goal was set up by Sharolta Nonen's corner kick.