Wambach's two goals lead stifling 5-0 rout of Ireland.
SALT LAKE CITY, Utah (Saturday, June 14, 2003) -- Striker Heather O'Reilly and midfielder Julie Foudy scored early, forward Abby Wambach found net twice before intermission and the United States women rolled to a 5-0 verdict over badly overmatched Ireland tonight before 19,584 at Rice-Eccles Stadium.
Before the evening ended, striker Mia Hamm registered her record 140th career international tally.
The U.S. stifled Ireland, not permitting a shot or conceding a corner kick.
"Tonight seemed like a World Cup crowd because there was so much energy out there," said Foudy who also chipped in a pair of assists. "It really helped the team get motivated, and it sparked us in the first half."
It took just 74 seconds for the U.S to take the lead, but it was with a costly goal. Making her first national-team start after 17 relief appearances, O'Reilly, 18, ran onto a bouncing Foudy right-side chip and headed it past charging goalkeeper Emma Byrne for a 1-0 lead. Byrne, however, crashed into O'Reilly's legs as the ball hopped into the net, leaving the high school senior, who is set to graduate next week, with a broken left fibula which will keep her out a minimum of six weeks.
Tiffeny Milbrett took over for O'Reilly "It doesn't look like she's out for the World Cup," U.S. coach April Heinrichs said of O'Reilly's chances of playing in the event that starts in mid-September.
In the 12th minute, midfielder Kristine Lilly fired a shot from deep in the left side of the penalty area that was knocked down by Byrne. Forward Cindy Parlow kept the ball alive by crashing into an Irish defender as she tried to clear and the ball squirted to Foudy who quickly fired a five-yard left-footer inside the near post to make it 2-0.
In the 21st minute, left back Christie Pearce made a nice over-lapping run into the penalty area before cutting a pass back to Wambach who cracked her first-time shot into the right corner from 10 yards for a 3-0 advantage.
In the 42nd minute, Wambach increased the margin to 4-0 with her seventh international goal with a powerful header into the net's right corner off a Foudy cross from the right flank.
The U.S. opened the second half with five substitutions and reserves combined for the final goal. Midfielder Tiffany Roberts carried to the end line on the right side and touched a short pass back to Hamm who tucked her shot into the left corner from eight yards to make it 5-0 in the 79th minute. Hamm replaced Milbrett in the 60th minute
"The best asset of our team is versatility and the ability to be flexible and adjust to the situation," Heinrichs said.
The U.S. outshot Ireland 24-0 and would have won by more if it weren't for 12 saves and the handling of numerous crosses by Byrne, the starting keeper for the Arsenal Ladies in England.
"We only have three-and-a-half weeks between the end of the (Women's United Soccer Association) season and the start of the World Cup," Foudy said. "When we're only playing an average of one game a month, a game like this is a great chance for us to come together and gel."
United States 5, Ireland 0
Lineups: United States - Briana Scurry (LaKeysia Beene 46), Thori Bryan, Cat Reddick, Kate Sobrero, Christie Pearce (Danielle Slaton 46), Lorrie Fair, Julie Foudy - captain (Tiffany Roberts 46), Kristine Lilly (Angela Hucles 46), Cindy Parlow (Aly Wagner 46), Abby Wambach, Heather O'Reilly (Tiffeny Milbrett 4, Mia Hamm 60). Ireland - Emma Byrne, Ronnie Gibbons, Sharon Boyle, Denise Thomas, Yvonne Tracy (Delores Deasley 58), Sonya Hughes, Ciera Grant, Clarie Scanlan (Grainne Kierans 90), Elaine O'Connor, Olivia O'Toole - captain (Caroline Thorpe 62), Stefanie Curtis (Laura Hislop 77).
Shots: United States 24, Ireland 0. Saves: United States 0, Ireland 12. Corner kicks: United States 9, Ireland 0 Fouls: United States 8, Ireland 6. Offside: United States 2, Ireland 1. Yellow card caution: United States - Parlow 27.
Referee: Sandra Hunt (United States). Referee's assistants: Feliciano Palomino (United States), Randall Ploeger (United States). Attendance: 19,584 at Rice-Eccles Stadium in Salt Lake City, Utah. Weather: Hot, clear, 85 degrees.