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MacMillan's three goals, assist lead 7-0 romp over Mexico; Americans stifle foe without a shot on goal.

CHARLESTON, S.C. (Saturday, January 12, 2002) -- Striker Shannon MacMillan scored three goals and assisted another as the United States romped over Mexico 7-0 in a total mismatch before a capacity crowd of 5,364 in the cold and rain at Blackbaud Stadium tonight.

The American domination was so great, Mexico did not manage a shot on goal through 90 minutes of play. The U.S., playing an international opponent for the first time since September 9, outshot Mexico 29-2 and were credited with all 14 shots on frame.

"Mexico is a team that we'll play in Women's World Cup qualifying and putting a stamp on the victory like this is exactly what we wanted to do," MacMillan said. "It sends a message."

The competition will be considerably more difficult for the Americans in their next action, the Four Nations Tournament in Guangzhou, China, with matches against Norway (January 23), Germany (January 25) and China (January 27).

The match started in the chill of 40 degrees with heavy showers hitting at halftime and the U.S. holding a 2-0 advantage. Following the long layoff, the Americans needed several minutes to find a rhythm before burying the Mexicans under a torrent of goals.

In the 22nd minute, striker Cindy Parlow took possession on left flank, cut inside and lofted a cross to the vicinity of the penalty spot. MacMillan worked free for several steps of separation from a defender to meet the feed and lofted her header past goalkeeper Linnea Quinones into the top right corner for a 1-0 lead.

"I want to make this a year for me to break out and really show that I belong on this team," said MacMillan who has 38 career goals. "I really think Iím off to a great start."

Parlow seemed to be able to get behind the Mexican defense with ease, but could not score before leaving in the 56th minute.

Midfielder Kristine Lilly made 2-0 in the 35th minute with a 22-yard blast that totally fooled Quinones with its English. After playing give-and-go with forward Tiffeny Milbrett, Lilly received the return pass to the left of the penalty arc, took a step forward and laced a shot that first swerved to the right, then dipped back to the left. Quinones reacting to the first movement, stepped to her left, but was left helpless when the ball then dropped behind her into the goal.

It was Lillyís 88th international goal, fifth most all-time and trailing Mia Hamm (129) and retired Michelle Akers (105) on the U.S. list.

"It was raining sideways, but we finished great tonight and hopefully that will carry over into the tournament in China at the end of the month," Lilly said.

Midfielder Julie Foudy notched her 39th national-team tally to make it 3-0 in the 51st minute, putting a head on MacMillianís low corner kick and watching it carom off defender Lisa Nanezís leg into the lower left corner.

MacMillanís remaining goals came in the 67th minute when, while falling, she snapped a header off a left-footed cross from Milbrett flush on the left touch line, and in the 89th when she slid to put away a cross from reserve striker Danielle Fotopoulos.

"A lot of us have taken some time off, but when you step on the field with the national-team jersey, you have to go out and leave your soul on the field," MacMillan said. "I want to become more of an impact player on this team and prove I can make a difference. Tonight was a great starting point for the year.

Fotopoulos also added a goal, assisted by midfielder Aly Wagner, another sub who had a goal of her own.

"It was great for us to get a 90-minute game under pressure, in front of a crowd and under the lights," U.S. coach April Heinrichs said. "Our finishing in the second half was very good. The players came out with a lot of enthusiasm and eagerness and it showed at the beginning of the match as we were a little unsettled and gave up possession too easily. I was very impressed when the players made the adjustments themselves after halftime."

United States 7, Mexico 0

Lineups: United States - LaKeysia Beene, Kate Sobrero (Jena Kluegel 46), Joy Fawcett (Thori Bryan 74), Danielle Slaton, Brandi Chastain (Cat Reddick 46), Kristine Lilly, Lorrie Fair (Aleisha Cramer 44), Julie Foudy - captain (Aly Wagner 61), Shannon MacMillan, Cindy Parlow (Danielle Fotopoulos 56), Tiffeny Milbrett. Mexico - Linnea Quinones, Ana Del Bosque, Gina Oceguera, Monica Gonzales, Lisa Gomez, Monica Vergara (Guadalupe Worbis 76), Lisa Nanzez, Dioselina Valderrama (Maria Castillo 72), Patricia Perez (captain), Monica Gerardo (Janeth Palmira 64), Iris Mora.

Scoring:
United States - MacMillan (Parlow) 22.
United States - Lilly (Milbrett) 35.
United States - Foudy (MacMillan) 51.
United States - Fotopoulos (Wagner) 65.
United States - MacMillan (Milbrett) 67.
United States - Wagner (unassisted) 75.
United States - MacMillan (Fotopoulos) 89.

Shots: United States 29, Mexico 2 Shots on goal: United States 14, Mexico 0. Saves: United States 0, Mexico 5. Corner kicks: United States 10, Mexico 2. Fouls: United States 16, Mexico 10. Offside: United States 0, Mexico 0. Yellow card cautions: Mexico - Nanez 32, Del Bosque 59.

Referee: Rachel Woo (United States). Assistant referees: Shannon Wheeler (United States), John Wilson (United States). Attendance: 5,634 (sellout) at Blackbaud Stadium in Charleston, S.C. Weather: Cold, rainy, 43 degrees.

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