HEREDIA, Costa Rica (Friday, February 27, 2004) - On U.S. head coach April Heinrichs' 40th birthday, her team gave her a present of a dominating 8-0 win over Haiti in the team's second group match of CONCACAF Final Round Olympic Qualifying. Cindy Parlow scored three times for the USA while substitutes Shannon MacMillan and Lindsay Tarpley did their work in the second half, with MacMillan scoring once and gathering two assists while Tarpley added one goal and one assist.
The win, combined with Mexico's 8-1 demolition of Trinidad & Tobago in the other Group B match, earned the USA a place in the semifinals as the top two teams in the group go through. The USA and Mexico each have six points, a total that cannot be equaled by either T&T or Haiti. The USA's final first round match against Mexico on Sunday will determine which teams finishes first and second in the group. The two winners of the semifinals earn berths to the 2004 Athens Olympics.
A misty, swirling rain fell on the stadium for most of the night, making for cooler conditions than the USA has experienced previously in Costa Rica, as well as making the field a bit slicker, which benefited the USA's quick combination play.
The USA played most of the match in a 4-4-2 formation, starting with Leslie Osborne at left midfield, Angela Hucles at right, Shannon Boxx at the holding spot and Aly Wagner at the point, before changing to a 3-4-3 towards the end of the game.
"The big picture is what comes to mind in terms of this result," said Heinrichs. "We've secured ourselves a position in the semifinals and that's the most important thing. We've been able to come together as a team and start a different lineup, but we expect everyone to perform as if you've played next to each other before and have a level of comfort together. There were some brilliant things going on out there and some great combination play down the flanks. We created some great chances and finished eight goals."
Parlow's hat trick was the seventh of her international career, trying her for second in the record books with Michelle Akers. Parlow also added two assists and it was she who fed Aly Wagner for the first goal after a slick dribbling run and pass from Leslie Osborne found the 5-11 forward deep inside the penalty area. Parlow toe-poked the ball to Wagner who stuffed her shot in the left corner from six yards out for her 13th career international goal.
Wagner could have had several more as she took seven of the USA's 29 shots while Haiti could not manage a shot during the entire match.
The second goal came in the 17th minute from the work of Kate Markgraf, who played a brilliant first half attacking down the left flank. Her driven cross bounced inside the six yard box to Parlow, who took a touch and then lifted the ball over the prone Haiti goalkeeper Gina Montinard and into the net from close range.
The USA found a good rhythm after 15 minutes, especially in getting the ball wide to Markgraf and Osborne on the left and Heather Mitts on the right while Parlow and Mia Hamm, who got some rough treatment from the Haiti defense, ran at the back line.
The third goal came from a gutsy dribbling by Hucles in right side of penalty area. She bounced off several defenders on the way to goal before Martinard rushed out to challenge, but she couldn't corral the ball that popped loose for Hucles to hit across the goalmouth. Judith Fenelon tried to clear for Haiti, but instead roofed the ball into her own net from inside the six-yard box.
The USA picked up the pace in the second half against a visibly tired Haiti team, scoring five of its eight goals after the break, as MacMillan, Tarpley and Abby Wambach infused some energy into the attack.
"I was pleased with the mental approach of the people who came off the bench," said Heinrichs. "In a game like this, to a certain extent, you are happy to get out of it without any yellow cards or injuries. But those aren't our goals. Our goals are to get better. Shannon MacMillan and Abby Wambach came off the bench to have great games. Kate (Markgraf) had a great first half and continues to evolve as an attacking wingback."
MacMillan scored just one minute and 55 seconds into the second half, as Parlow cut a short pass back to the charging forward and she hammered it home from seven yards out.
"I found Cindy in the box and just kept running," said MacMillan, who scored her 60th international goal. "Her pass was just a perfect set up. It's one of those ones where you get all of it and I don't think the goalkeeper even saw it."
Tarpley added the fifth goal after Hucles tackled a ball away just outside the penalty area on the left side. The ball skidded to the 20-year old midfielder, who shot from a steep angle in the left side of the penalty area, skipping her shot off the wet grass, off the shoulder of the Montinard and into the net for her fourth career goal.
Tarpley created the sixth goal, whipping a cross into the middle from the left side that Montinard couldn't handle. Parlow cleaned up the garbage by tapping the ball into the open net.
Wambach added the seventh goal, running onto a brilliant long service off a MacMillan free kick that originated 45 yards away on the right sideline and then pulled off a spectacular lunging header at the far post to re-direct the ball back into the right corner. It was Wambach's 16th international goal in 26 games. Wambach barely missed scoring another spectacular goal, as her full out, horizontal attempt at a diving header off a Cat Reddick cross just skimmed by her forehead.
Parlow completed her hat trick, and the scoring, three minutes from time, pounding in a MacMillan corner kick from two yards out. The three goals raised Parlow's all-time international total to 68 and she is fifth all-time on the U.S. goal-scoring chart.
The match marked the second career starts for Osborne, Mitts and defender Amy LeiPeilbet. U.S. goalkeeper Siri Mullinix picked up the shutout, but had little to do on the evening.
The continuity of the match was thrown off a bit as the stadium stretcher crew had to come on the field no less than 10 times to cart off injured Haitians. At least four times, one Haitian was ready to come back on the field while another was being carried off.
"We got a good lesson on how to beat a bunker, because they definitely hung in there," said MacMillan of the scrappy Haitians. "I think we showed a lot of patience in knocking the ball around and not trying to force it and get frustrated."
Heinrichs, who has played 19 of the 20 players on the roster thus far, gave the night off to veterans Julie Foudy, Kristine Lilly, Joy Fawcett and Christie Rampone.
"I'm very pleased about being able to start some different players and rest another group," said Heinrichs. "We've worked very hard and I think we can be a little fresher for our game against Mexico. I'm a little concerned about our shots to shots on goal ratio, but on the whole, I'm very pleased about this game and hopefully we are gaining momentum."
Mexico's big win over a drained T&T team featured three goals from star Maribel Dominguez, two from Patricia Perez and one each from Juana Lopez, Iris Mora and Alma Martinzez. All of Mexico's goals were stylish and well taken. T&T got some solace from a 41st minute penalty kick by Tasha St. Louis.
The USA and Mexico meet on Sunday at Estadio Nacional with the kickoff set for 3 p.m. Fans can follow all the action on ussoccer.com's MatchTracker presented by Philips Electronics. If Costa Rica and Canada, which both won their first Group A matches in resounding fashion, also win their matches tomorrow (Costa Rica faces Jamaica and Canada takes on Panama), both countries will earn spots in the semifinals and their final first round match will just be to determine the semifinal pairings.
U.S. WOMEN'S NATIONAL TEAM GAME REPORT
Match-up: United States Women's National Team vs. Haiti
Competition: CONCACAF Final Round Women's Olympic Qualifying
Venue: Estadio Eladio Rosabal Cordero; Heredia, Costa Rica
Date: Feb. 27, 2004; Kickoff - 8:00 p.m. CT
Weather: Cool, drizzly - 69 degrees
1 2 F
USA 3 5 8
HAI 0 0 0
USA - Aly Wagner (Cindy Parlow) 12th minute.
USA - Cindy Parlow (Kate Markgraf) 17.
USA - Own Goal (Judith Fenelon) 41.
USA - Shannon MacMillan (Cindy Parlow) 47.
USA - Lindsay Tarpley (Unassisted) 63.
USA - Cindy Parlow (Lindsay Tarpley) 73.
USA - Abby Wambach (Shannon MacMillan) 81.
USA - Cindy Parlow (Shannon MacMillan) 87.
USA: 18-Siri Mullinix; 2-Heather Mitts, 4-Cat Reddick, 6-Amy LePeilbet, 15-Kate Markgraf (20-Abby Wambach. 63); 19-Angela Hucles, 7-Shannon Boxx (16-Lindsay Tarpley, 46), 5-Leslie Osborne, 10-Aly Wagner; 9-Mia Hamm (8-Shannon MacMillan, 46), 12-Cindy Parlow.
Subs not used: 1-Briana Scurry, 3-Christie Rampone, 11-Julie Foudy, 13-Kristine Lilly, 14-Joy Fawcett, 17-Heather O'Reilly.
Head Coach: April Heinrichs
HAI: 1-Gina Montinard, 3-Judith Fenelon, 4-Kencia Marseille, 6-Fernande Hilaire, 7-Yvette Felix, 9-Marie Viola Nord (12-Manouchka Salam, 27, 8-Myrlande Bien-Aime, 70), 10-Sherline Ridore, 13-Pharana Jean-Louis, 15-Ghislaine Saint Louis, 17-Adeline Saintilmond, 18-Guerda Marcellus (14-Natacha Cajuste, 20).
Subs not used: 2-Fritzka Badio, 5-Elirose Jean-Louis, 11-Darline Lundy, 16-Madege Deca, 20-Monique Alsaint.
Head Coach: Sonche Pierre
Shots on Goal: 19/0
Corner Kicks: 13/2
HAI - Adeline Saintilmond (caution) 28th minute.
HAI - Yvette Felix (caution) 38.
Referee: Shane De Silva (TRI)
Assistant Referee: Maria Isabel Tovar ( MEX)
Assistant Referee: Paulette Riley (JAM)
4th Official: Dianne Ferreira-James (GUY)
CONCACAF FINALROUND WOMEN'S OLYMPIC QUALIFYING STANDINGS
Team W L T PTS GF GA GD
CAN 1 0 0 3 6 0 +6
CRC 1 0 0 3 6 1 +5
PAN 0 1 0 0 1 6 -5
JAM 0 1 0 0 0 6 -6
Team W L T PTS GF GA GD
USA 2 0 0 6 15 0 +15
MEX 2 0 0 6 13 1 +12
HAI 0 2 0 0 0 13 -13
TRI 0 2 0 0 1 15 -14
WOMEN'S OLYMPIC QUALIFYING RESULTS
Wednesday, February 25
Mexico 5, Haiti 0
USA 7, Trinidad & Tobago 0
Thursday, February 26
Canada 6, Jamaica 0
Costa Rica 6, Panama 1
Friday, February 27
Mexico 8, Trinidad & Tobago 1
USA 8, Haiti 0
Saturday, February 28
Canada vs. Panama Nacional (1:00 p.m. CT)
Costa Rica vs. Jamaica Nacional (3:00 p.m. CT)
Sunday, February 29
Haiti vs. Trinidad & Tobago Nacional (1:00 p.m. CT)
USA vs. Mexico Nacional (3:00 p.m. CT)
Monday, March 1
Jamaica vs. Panama Eladio Rosabal Cordero (6:00 p.m. CT)
Costa Rica vs. Canada Eladio Rosabal Cordero (8:00 p.m. CT)
Wednesday, March 3
Semifinal #1 (A1 vs. B2) Nacional (12:00 Noon CT)
Semifinal #2 (B1 vs. A2) Nacional (2:30 p.m. CT)
Friday, March 5
Third-Place Eladio Rosabal Cordero (6:00 p.m. CT)
Final Eladio Rosabal Cordero (8:00 p.m. CT)
WOMEN'S OLYMPIC QUALIFYING SCORERS
Maribel Dominguez (MEX) 5
Patricia Perez (MEX) 5
Shannon Boxx (USA) 3
Cindy Parlow (USA) 3
Christine Sinclair (CAN) 3
Megen Chavez (CRC) 2
Mia Hamm (USA) 2
Abby Wambach (USA) 2
Kristine Lilly (USA) 1
Shannon MacMillan (USA) 1
Lindsay Tarpley (USA) 1
Aly Wagner (USA) 1
Charmaine Hooper (CAN) 1
Christine Latham (CAN) 1
Carmelina Moscato (CAN) 1
Ana Gabriel Campos (CRC) 1
Shirley Cruz (CRC) 1
Cindy Rodriguez (CRC) 1
Gabriela Trujillo (CRC) 1
Maritzenia Bedoya (PAN) 1
Jauna Lopez (MEX) 1
Alma Martinez (MEX) 1
Iris Mora (MEX) 1
Tasha St. Louis (TRI) 1
Own Goal 1