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Hamm scores pair, assists another in 4-1 defeat of Germany.

CHICAGO (Sunday, September 9, 2001) -- If anybody ever doubted her, Mia Hamm reminded the soccer world why she’s considered the best women’s soccer player in the world.

In the second half, she assisted one goal, then scored twice within the space of a minute, powering the United States to a 4-1 triumph over Germany in the Nike U.S. Women’s Cup before 10,235 at Soldier Field this afternoon.

2001 Nike U.S. Women's Cup
Team W L T Pts GF GA
United States 1 0 0 3 4 1
China 1 0 0 3 3 0
Germany 1 1 0 3 2 4
Japan 0 2 0 0 0 4

September 7 result
Germany 1, Japan 0
September 9 results
United States 4, Germany 1
China 3, Japan 0
September 11 games
Japan vs. United States
China vs. Germany
September 16 game
United States vs. China

"If Mia wants it, she's primed to play her best soccer ever," U.S. coach April Heinrichs said. "I think we're starting to see a little glimpse of that."

In the second game, China rode two goals by Bai Lilli to a 3-0 decision over Japan. The U.S, faces Japan Tuesday night at Crew Stadium in Columbus, Ohio, at matched broadcast live by ESPN at 8 p.m. (ET).

Hamm was criticized in the media for not posting gaudy numbers for the Washington Freedom in the inaugural season on the Women’s United Soccer Association. Lost on these reporters, many of whom probably hadn’t seen her play in person, was the fact that her supporting cast was weak, and she spent called on to spend much of the year in the midfield instead of her natural striker position. In voting by the media, she was named to the league’s second team among the postseason awards.

Three goals in the second half allowed the Americans to run away from a 1-1 tie at intermission. In the 51st minute, Hamm lifted a beautiful ball over the German defense to Tiffeny Milbrett who beat Silke Rottenberg to bouncing ball and looped it high over the German goalkeeper with a perfect touch. As the ball was dropping into the net, German defender Nia Kunzer tried a desperation bicycle kick to clear it, but instead hit the ball into the roof of the net before it settled into the goal. It was the 86th international goal for the WUSA’s leading scorer and "Most Valuable Player," placing her one behind teammate Kristine Lilly on the world's all-time goal list.

Hamm, who increased her world-best total to 129 goals, finished Germany off with a pair in the 72nd and 73rd minutes. The first came after Ariane Hingst played a weak back pass to the wrong player, which happened to be Hamm. She raced in on goal and nailed the left corner to make it 3-1 from 14 yards.

One minute later, Hamm ran onto a perfect headed pass from midfielder Julie Foudy inside the penalty area. Rottenberg had come out to stop Foudy’s pass, but the ball skipped on the wet off her right hand to Hamm who smacked it into the open net from 12 yards for the 4-1 final.

"It was just a bad back pass and I was able to step in and then had to find a corner of the goal to put the shot in," Hamm said of her first tally. "The second goal was all Julie, playing the header one-time behind their defense. I'll take the goals anyway I can get them."

The U.S. took a 1-0 lead in the 19 minutes when Cindy Parlow found room between three Germans to head home Shannon MacMillan’s right-side corner kick. Four minutes later, Germany evened things at 1-1 after U.S. defender Lorrie Fair turned the ball over in the midfield to German captain Renate Lingor. She ran at the U.S. defense and then played Martina Muller through on a breakaway. Muller beat goalkeeper LaKeysia Beene from 15 for her first international goal.

United States 4, Germany 1

Lineups: United States - LaKeysia Beene, Kate Sobrero, Joy Fawcett (Cat Reddick 78), Brandi Chastain, Kristine Lilly, Lorrie Fair (Aleisha Cramer 46), Julie Foudy, Shannon MacMillan (Jena Kluegel 46), Cindy Parlow (Heather Mitts 82), Mia Hamm, Tiffeny Milbrett (Abby Wambach). Germany - Silke Rottenberg, Kerstin Stegemann, Stephanie Becker, Nia Kunzer, Ariane Hingst, Antonio Schmale (Verenda Hagedorn 70), Navina Omilade, Sandra Smisek, Renate Lingor, Martina Muller, Petra Wimbersky.

United States - Parlow (MacMillan) 19.
Germany - Muller (Lingor) 23.
United States - Milbrett (Hamm) 51.
United States - Hamm (unassisted) 72.
United States - Hamm (Foudy) 73.

Shots: United States 17, Germany 5. Shots on goal: United States 8, Germany 2 Saves: United States - United States 1, Germany 4 Corner kicks: United States 9, Germany 0 Fouls: United States 13, Germany 14. Offside: United States 7, Germany 2 Yellow card cautions: United States - Parlow 53; Germany - Becker 67.

Referee: Kari Seitz (United States) Assistant referees: Francisco Sanchez (United States), Steve Davidson (United States). Attendance: 10,235 at Soldier Field in Chiacgo. Weather: Overcast, humid, 68 degrees.

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