WASHINGTON, D.C. (Saturday, April 26, 2003) - The U.S. Women’s National Team went down a goal early but then rolled through a young Canadian team, scoring six consecutive times to win 6-1at RFK Stadium. Shannon MacMillan scored four of those goals, including the final three of the match, while Kristine Lilly and Julie Foudy add a goal each.
With a start in today’s match, Lilly registered her 250th career cap for the U.S., extending her world record for international appearances among both men and women.
The hat trick for MacMillan was the third of her career, and it was her first four-goal game. She joins Michelle Akers, Brandi Chastain, Mia Hamm and Tiffeny Milbrett as the only players to score at least four goals in one game.
“I’ve never done that before,” said MacMillan. “But when you’re getting passes like the three I got in the second half, if I can’t finish those, then I shouldn’t be out here.”
Canada was forced to field a young team after hastily coming together to replace original opponent Nigeria, coming out with a highly defensive 5-4-1 formation with striker Christine Latham left to go it alone against the U.S. back line. Canada hung in the match early, but the experienced U.S. team was too tough, scoring three times in each half.
Canada scored first on a classic counter attack as defender Melanie Booth sent a long ball that skipped past the U.S. defense to the opportunistic Christine Sinclair, who slotted her shot past Scurry into the left corner from the top of the penalty area in the 7th minute. It was the 36th career international goal for the University of Portland star, whose is third on Canada’s all-time scoring list behind Charmaine Hooper and Silvana Burtini.
“We definitely didn’t start like we know how to play,” added MacMillan. “When you get into the World Cup, you let a goal in that early and you’re in trouble. Luckily today we were able to bounce back and punish them. We can’t let (an early goal) like that happen.”
The USA equalized nine minutes later as Mia Hamm was cut down by Kara Lang just outside the penalty area. MacMillan stepped up to power the free kick into the left corner past Canadian goalkeeper Erin McLeod from 19 yards out to tie the game.
The U.S. took the lead in the 33rd minute on a play that started with forward Cindy Parlow slipping a pass to Mia Hamm in right side of penalty area. Hamm drove a cross on the ground that Parlow got a piece of, but the ball hit off the shin of a sliding Canadian and bounced to Lilly, who collected coolly and volleyed the ball into the net from 14 yards out.
The 20-year-old Erin McLeod, Canada’s starter at the 2002 FIFA Under-19 World Championship, distinguished herself with several great saves in the match, including a flying stop of a diving header from Hamm in the 38th minute and great parry of a brilliant volley by Cindy Parlow in the 31st minute.
The third goal came off a corner kick from the right side, as MacMillan drilled the ball into the middle, where Joy Fawcett flicked it with a back-heel. The ball skipped to U.S. captain Foudy, who pounded her shot off McLeod’s hands and into the net from eight yards out in the 42nd minute to give the U.S. a 3-1 halftime lead.
MacMillan scored a spectacular goal in the 55th minute, beating the offside trap and running onto a bouncing pass from Aly Wagner. Spotting McLeod well off her line, Mac struck a perfect dipping lob from almost 40 yards out that easily beat the stranded goalkeeper.
MacMillan made it a hat trick in the 78th minute, running onto a chipped pass from Wagner in the left side of the penalty area, and dribbling in alone on McLeod before lifting the ball over the shoulder of the sliding ‘keeper and into the net. MacMillan completed her brilliant afternoon less than a minute later, slotting the ball into the right corner from 16 yards out after running onto a pass from Kristine Lilly.
The four goals for MacMillan up her career total to 58 and move her past Cindy Parlow into fifth place on the all-time goals list and past Carin Gabarra into fifth place on the all-time points list with 159.
The USA returns to action on May 17, 2003, against England at Legion Field in Birmingham, Alabama. Kickoff is 12 p.m. CT, with the match to be broadcast live on ESPN. Following that friendly, the U.S. women are set to meet South Korea at Rice-Eccles Stadium in Salt Lake City on June 14 (7 p.m. MT live on ESPN2), followed by a match against recent Women’s World Cup qualifier Brazil at Tad Gormley Stadium in New Orleans on July 13 (3 p.m. CT live on ESPN).
Participants: U.S. Women's National Team vs. Canada
Competition: International Friendly
Venue: RFK Stadium – Washington, D.C.
Date: April 26, 2003; Kickoff – Noon ET
Weather: Rain, cold; 52 degrees
1 2 F
USA 3 3 6
CAN 1 0 1
CAN – Christine Sinclair (Melanie Booth) 7th minute.
USA – Shannon MacMillan (Unassisted) 16.
USA – Kristine Lilly (Unassisted) 33.
USA – Julie Foudy (Joy Fawcett) 41.
USA – Shannon MacMillan (Aly Wagner) 55.
USA – Shannon MacMillan (Aly Wagner) 78.
USA – Shannon MacMillan (Kristine Lilly) 79.
USA: 1-Briana Scurry; 4-Cat Reddick, 14-Joy Fawcett (17-Danielle Slaton, 46), 6-Brandi Chastain, 15-Kate Sobrero; 11-Julie Foudy (Capt.;19-Angela Hucles, 46), 13-Kristine Lilly, 8-Shannon MacMillan, 10-Aly Wagner; 12-Cindy Parlow, 9-Mia Hamm (23-Heather O’Reilly, 63).
Subs not used: 3-Christie Pearce, 5-Tiffany Roberts, 16-Tiffeny Milbrett, 18-Siri Mullinix.
CAN: 1-Erin McLeod; 15-Kara Lang, 3-Melanie Booth, 4-Sasha Andrews, 8-Clare Rustad; 5-Andrea Neil (Capt.), 14-Carmelina Moscado (7-Rhian Wilkinson, 68), 16-Brittany Timko, 13-Diana Matheson; 2-Christine Latham (9-Amber Allen, 58), 12-Christine Sinclair.
Subs not used: 11-Ashley McGhee, 22-Taryn Swiatek.
Statistical Summary: USA CAN
Shots 20 5
Saves 0 10
Corner Kicks 8 3
Fouls 7 9
Offside 6 1
CAN – Melanie Booth (caution) 45th minute.
Referee: Sandra Hunt (USA)
Asst. Referee: George Vergera (USA)
Asst. Referee: Rob Fereday (USA)
4th Official: Rachel Woo (USA)