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MacMillan nets pair as U.S. buries Mexico 8-0 in Nike Cup semifinal.

PORTLAND, Ore. (Friday, May 5, 2000) – As might be expected, the United States women made short work of Mexico, getting two goals from Shannon MacMillan and a goal and three assists from Mia Hamm in an 8-0 rout in the Nike U.S. Cup before 6,517 on a chilly, damp evening at Civic Stadium..

Scoring four goals in each half, the U.S. launched 34 shots to four for Mexico. The Americans will face Canada, a 1-0 winner over South Korea, in Sunday’s 2:30 p.m. (ET) championship game, televised on ESPN2.

"Canada has a new coach and he is a world champion himself (Even Pellerud) with Norway in 1995." Hamm said. "He has an incredible ability to organize a team. I've seen a more organized Canada and I've seen a team with more fight and spirit. It's going to be a test on Sunday. We've haven't played Canada in a year and last time we had some difficulty with them (a 4-2 victory in Portland) so we're looking forward to playing in the final."

The U.S. previously won its annual tournament all six years it was held, going 18-0 and outscoring opponents 79-8.

"This game was tremendous," U.S. 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 tonight."

The match was the first since the U.S. women entered residency camp three weeks ago in prepartion for the Summer Olympics in Sydney in September. The Americans are 8-2-2 in 2000, last playing on April 8, a 0-0 draw with Iceland. Three days before that. A young team of U.S. reserves routed Iceland 8-0.

"Coming off the Iceland (draw), 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."

It took the U.S. just three minutes to grab the lead for good. Hamm, running on to a throught ball by fellow striker Tiffeny Milbrett, was cut down from behind in the penalty area by Fabiola Vargas. Millbrett’s ormer University of Portland teammate MacMillan drilled her penalty kick into the left side of the net.

Mexico’s Fatima Leyva and Iris Mora were issued yellow card for their dissent following the penalty call, two of the four cautions her side was given.

In the 23rd minute, Hamm found midfielder Kristine Lilly with a precise pass in the box. Lilly spun as she collected and drove toward the goal before slotting her shot into the left corner to make it 2-0. It was her 84th international goal in her world record 199th international match.

Three minutes later, Hamm dug a ball out of the left corner on a full sprint and played a cross on the ground into the middle. Milbrett dummied the ball, letting it run to Nikki Serlenga, who slammed her left-footed shot into the roof of the net from 15 yards out for a 3-0 advantage. It was her second international goal in her fourth international appearance.

In addition to Serlenga, 21, midfielder Lorrie Fair, 21, and striker Christy Welsh, 19, added second-half tallies.

"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."

The fourth goal came in the 35th minute after midfielder Julie Foudy put Milbrett through on the left side of the box. Milbrett's first shot was blocked with a kick save by Mexican goalkeeper Linnea Quinonez, but the ball bounced straight back to Milbrett, who with her first touch, sent a delicate, spinning chip over the mass of bodies, dropping the ball into the upper right corner for her 69th international goal. Milbrett, the all-time leading scorer in the University of Portland history, has scored in all four U.S. appearances in her hometown.

Hamm raised her world record goal total to 118 two minutes after intermission on a five-yard diving header off a deft chip from MacMillan, who found her open five yards out in the middle of the goal. Hamm now has 96 career assists.

"The Mexicans are obviously a young team," Hamm said. "But they have a tremendous coach (Leonardo Cuellar) who has done some great things with the team. They are technical, they're feisty and they have huge hearts. Now it's just a matter of getting the experience."

The sixth goal was perhaps the most spectacular with second-half sub Sara Whalen driving cross into the box from deep on the right flank and MacMillan meeting it on the dead run to hit a full volley into the right corner in he 61st minute. With the two goals, MacMillan increased her international goal total to 26.

In the 64th minute,. Hamm took a pass from Cindy Parlow and carried down the right flank. She danced through several defenders in the box and then calmly found the wide-open Fair with a square pass at the far post. Fair knocked it into the empty net from five yards to make it 7-0 with her third career goal.

The final goal in the 76th was started by Parlow who ran at the Mexican defense and fed Welsh with a chip. Unmarked a the six-yard-line, Welsh nodded home a simple header for her sixth goal in nine caps.

"I think you get something from every game as long as you go out there and play hard soccer," Heinrichs said. "There are confidence builders when you beat Norway in the Algarve Cup final and there are confidence builders when you beat Mexico on a night like this. It wasn't like Mexico rolled over and died. It wasn't like there were soft goals. Every goal was dynamic and bordered on spectacular. So it was a great confidence booster for our team even though it was 8-0."

Siri Mullinix and Hope Solo, an 18-year-old rising sophomore at the University of Washington, combined for the shutout thouigh never tested. The usual starter, Briana Scurry, is sitting out the tournament with a thigh injury.

United States 8, Mexico 0

Lineups: United States - Siri Mullinix (Hope Solo 46), Brandi Chastain (Joy Fawcett 46), Nandi Pryce, Kate Sobrero, Christie Pearce, Kristine Lilly (Sara Whalen 46), Nikki Serlenga, Julie Foudy (Lorrie Fair 46), Shannon MacMillan, Mia Hamm (Christy Welsh 70), Tiffeny Milbrett (Cindy Parlow 63). Mexico - Linnea Quinonez, Fabiola Vagas, Christina Romero, Patricia Perez, Fatima Leyva (Gina Oceguera 41), Monica Gerardo, Liliana Garcia, Mayra Rosales, Monica Gonzales, Maribel Dominguez (Rosa Ramirez 82), Iris Mora (Ana Gonzales 82).

United States - MacMillan (penalty kick) 3.
United States - Lilly (Hamm) 22.
United States - Serlenga (Hamm) 25.
United States - Milbrett (unassisted) 35.
United States - Hamm (MacMillan) 47.
United States - MacMillan (Whalen) 61.
United States - Fair (Hamm) 64.
United States - Welsh (Parlow) 76.

Shots: United States 34, Mexico 4. Saves: United States 1, Mexico 12. Corner kicks: United States 9, Mexico 1. Fouls: United States 15, Mexico 14. Offside: United States 2, Mexico 4. Yellow card cautions: United States - Serlenga 24, Whalen 66; Mexico - Leyva 3, Mora 3, Vargas 32, Domingues 65.

Referee: Ricardo Valenzuela (United States). Referee’s assistants: Oscar Myre (United States), Mohammad Zarrabi-Kashani (United States). Attendance: 6,517 at Civic Stadium in Portland, Ore. Weather: Cold, wet, 48 degrees.

Canada 1, South Korea 0

Lineups: Canada - Nicci Wright, Isabelle Morneau (Katie Lee 75), Breanna Boyd, Tanya Franck (Silvana Burtini 46), Andrea Neil, Sharolta Nonen, Cindy Walsh, Christina Sinclair, Isabelle Harvey, Amy Walsh, Christine Latham. South Korea Ho Jung Jung, Yu Jim Kim, Suk Hee Jin, Young Sil Yoo, Myung Ha Lee, Yun Hee Choi (Mi Suk Kwon 52, Jin Sook Lee 79), Ju Hee Song, Sun Mi Kang, Kyung Hee Lee, Hae Young Hang, Hyo Eun Kim.

Canada - Neil (Nonen) 71.

Shots: Canada 11, South Korea 12. Saves: Canada 3, South Korea 3. Corner kicks: Canada 8, South Korea 2. Fouls: Canada 13, South Korea 7. Offside: Canada 3, South Korea 1. Yellow card cautions: Canada - Neil 16; South Korea - Ju 75.

Referee: Brian Hall (United States) Referee’s assistants: Kevin Boisen (United States), Neil Pinski (United States). Attendance: 6,517 at Civic Stadium in Portland, Ore. Weather: Cold, wet, 53 degrees.

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