It’s almost impossible to pull out all the moments that made the phenomenal career of Kristine Lilly so historic, memorable and legendary, but if you are long-time fan of the U.S. WNT, here are just a few that might put a smile on your face.
Nov. 30, 1991 vs. Norway in Guangzhou, China
The USA wins the first Women’s World Cup and a 20-year-old Lilly looks into the stands and sees her father with an American flag sticker on his cheek and smiling from ear-to-ear.
June 13, 1995 vs. Japan in Gavle, Sweden
In the 1995 FIFA Women’s World Cup quarterfinal vs. Japan, Lilly strikes an almost 40-yard free kick that swerves so viciously, the ‘keeper steps out of the way of the shot as it plows into the net. She scored twice in that game.
Aug. 1, 1996 vs. China in Athens, Ga.
Lilly’s cross from left wing creates first goal in an Olympic gold medal game, scored by Shannon MacMillan.
June 19, 1999 vs. Denmark in East Rutherford, N.J.
Lilly finishes the scoring in the 89th minute of the USA’s 3-0 opening game win at the 1999 FIFA Women’s World Cup, powering a shot into the left corner in front of a sell-out crowd of 79,972 fans at Giants Stadium, where she watched her beloved Jets while growing up as a teenager.
July 1, 1999 vs. Germany in Landover, Md.
Lilly plays 90 minutes as the USA comes from a goal down twice to defeat Germany 3-2 in 1999 FIFA Women’s World Cup quarterfinals in front of President Bill Clinton, who comes into the locker room to meet the team.
July 10, 1999 vs. China in Pasadena, Calif.
Lilly leaps to clear a ball off the goal line in sudden death overtime to save the Women’s World Cup Final. Fan Yunjie of China had sent her header over Briana Scurry that was heading into the goal, only to see Lilly on the spot to head the ball away.
July 10, 1999 vs. China in Pasadena, Calif.
Lilly nails the third penalty kick into the upper left corner in the historic shootout of the 1999 FIFA Women’s World Cup Final, made even more important as China had missed their third attempt on the previous kick.
Oct. 10, 1999 vs. Brazil in Louisville, Ky.
Lilly scores twice against Brazil in front of crowd of more than 35,000 on post-Women’s World Cup victory tour.
May 7, 2000 vs. Canada in Portland, Ore.
Lilly plays in her 200th match against Canada at PGE Park in Portland, Ore., and is carried off the field on the shoulders of her teammates.
Sept. 20, 2000, vs. Nigeria in Melbourne, Australia
Lilly scores against Nigeria at the 2000 Olympics.
Oct. 6, 2002 vs. Italy in Cary, N.C.
At the NIKE U.S. Women’s Cup, Lilly scores off a near-post header. She said it is her only header goal ever.
Nov. 6, 2002 vs. Costa Rica in Seattle, Wash.
Lilly controls the ball with her chest and hits a smoldering volley in the CONCACAF Women’s Gold Cup that served as Women’s World Cup qualifying.
Sept. 21, 2003 vs. Sweden in Washington, D.C.
In the opening game of the 2003 FIFA Women’s World Cup, Lilly finishes a beautiful build up in the 27th minute, running onto a back-heel flick from Mia Hamm to power a laser-beam left-footed shot into the left side netting from just inside the penalty area to make it 1-0.
Oct. 11, 2003 vs. Canada in Carson, Calif.
Lilly opens the scoring in the 22nd minute of 2003 FIFA Women’s World Cup third-place match with a blistering half-volley, running onto a bouncing ball to score from just inside the penalty area.
Aug. 17, 2004 vs. Australia in Thessaloniki, Greece
Lilly scores the USA’s lone goal against Australia at the 2004 Olympics, running onto a long cross from Julie Foudy to hit a first-time volley back across the face of the goal and into the right corner.
August 23, 2004 vs. Germany in Heraklio, Greece
Lilly scores the first goal as the USA defeats Germany 2-1 in overtime to advance to the Olympic gold medal match.
Aug. 26, 2004 vs. Brazil in Athens, Greece
Atop the medal stand in Athens, Greece, with the other four ‘91ers, the five U.S. Soccer pioneers – Lilly, Brandi Chastain, Joy Fawcett, Mia Hamm and Julie Foudy – leave their last world championship together as gold medalists.
March 13, 2005 vs. Denmark in Vila Real de San Antonio, Portugal
Lilly scores directly off a corner kick at the Algarve Cup. Her swerving delivery from the right corner flies over everyone and plants itself into the left side netting.
January 18, 2006 vs. Norway in Guangzhou, China
Lilly sears a direct free-kick from the right corner of the penalty area in her 300th cap.
January 22, 2006 vs. China in Guangzhou, China
Lilly scores both U.S. goals to give the Americans the Four Nations Tournament title.
March 13, 2006 vs. France in Faro, Portugal
Lilly scores just seconds into the game on a dipping half-volley that hit the underside of the crossbar and bounces over the line.
Aug. 27, 2006 vs. China in Bridgeview, Ill.
Lilly scores twice in the final five minutes to seal the game. One is a deft chip over the ‘keeper that skimmed off the underside of the crossbar over the line.
Oct. 29, 2006 vs. Denmark in Gimhae, South Korea
Lilly scores tying goal in the 73rd minute during a 1-1 draw that saw the USA trail for the majority of the game.
Nov. 4, 2006 vs. Canada in Seoul, South Korea
Lilly scores a spectacular 68th minute winning goal to give the USA the Peace Queen Cup championship.
Nov. 22, 2006 vs. Canada in Carson, Calif.
Lilly scores last-second penalty kick in overtime to give the USA the CONCACAF Women’s Gold Cup title.
March 14, 2007 vs. Denmark in Vila Real de San Antonio, Portugal
Lilly scores winning goal in the Algarve Cup Championship game.
April 14, 2007 vs. Mexico in Foxborough, Mass.
Lilly scores thundering half-volley from distance.
May 12, 2007 vs. Canada in Frisco, Texas
Lilly finishes cut back from Carli Lloyd smartly in demolition of Canada.
June 23, 2007 vs. Brazil in East Rutherford, N.J.
Lilly finished perfect free kick from right corner of penalty area in first minute of the match.
Sept. 22, 2007 vs. England in Tianjin, China
Lilly scores the clinching goal in a 3-0 victory during the quarterfinal of the 2007 FIFA Women’s World Cup.
May 22, 2010 vs. Germany in Cleveland, Ohio
Lilly scores her 130th and final goal in a U.S. uniform, finishing a great pass from Abby Wambach -- fittingly with her left foot – hitting her shot off the right post and in.