PORTLAND, Ore. (October 3, 2004) - The U.S. Women's National Team rolled over an inexperienced New Zealand team, 5-0, as Mia Hamm scored twice, Abby Wambach and Cat Reddick scored once and Kristine Lilly struck for her historic 100th career goal in front of a raucous and appreciative crowd of 16,554 at PGE Park.
The second half score moved Lilly into one of international soccer's most elite clubs, as she became just the fifth player in the history of the game to record 100 goals for her country. Lilly joins Hamm (156 after two goals on the night), former teammate Michelle Akers (105) and two Italians, Elisabetta Vignotto (107) and current Italian National Team head coach Carolina Morace (104).
"It's been a great career," said Lilly, who was named the Chevrolet Player of the Game. "I don't think any of us thought we'd be playing this long in the first place. We love this game, we love playing with these teammates and we love the fans, and that keeps us coming back."
The U.S. team struggled early on playing just the third match in team history on an artificial surface and against a determined New Zealand bunker, but exploded for four second-half goals to send the fans home happy.
"The surface was a little tough to play on, but once we found our rhythm, people did a tremendous job of moving the ball around and we got some really great goals," said Hamm. "But tonight was about this crowd and Kristine Lilly getting her 100th goal. We're just happy that she could do it in such a great environment like we had here tonight in Portland."
The first goal in the lopsided affair came in the 15th minute as Wambach released Hamm behind the defense, where she bumped a defender off the ball and cut toward goal, calmly rolling her left-footed shot into the lower left corner past stranded New Zealand goalkeeper Pam Yates, who was playing in her first career game for New Zealand.
Hamm scored her 156th career goal in the 55th minute on a fantastic diving header. After some good U.S. possession sprung Hucles alone on the right wing, she spun a perfect cross into the middle and the slashing Hamm threw her body parallel to the turf to stick her shot into the right corner.
Wambach got the third goal after some nice dribbling work by Lilly in the left side of the penalty area. Lilly played a short ball on the ground to the middle of the six-yard box, where Wambach was able to get just enough of her left foot on the ball while falling and it bounced off the hand of Yates and rolled over the goal line from close range.
It was Wambach's team-leading 22nd goal of the year, moving her past Tiffeny Milbrett for the second most goals in a calendar year in the history of the U.S. Women's National Team. Michelle Akers scored 39 in 1991. Wambach has now scored 36 for her career and the 22 goals have come in her last 24 games.
After scoring her 99th goal in a 3-0 win over Iceland on Sept. 29 and having several chances earlier in the match, Lilly got career goal No. 100 in the 66th minute when she laced a shot inside the right post after second-half sub Shannon MacMillan lifted a ball over the defense to give her a breakaway.
"She's the cornerstone of U.S. soccer in my opinion," said U.S. defender Brandi Chastain of her long-time teammate. "She's played more games than anyone in the world, she goes to practice every day to be the best she can and she's an example to every young player who watches or participates in the sport. This team would not be the same if Kristine Lilly were not on the team."
Lilly, who was mobbed by her teammates after the goal and received a standing ovation from the large crowd, played in her world record 284th match.
"I hit it well and it was a great ball by Mac," said Lilly of the goal. "It was just a great moment. It was a great crowd and great to have my team come smother me. It was just a lot of fun."
"It's such a great feat for her and to be a part of that is a great honor for me," said MacMillan of her historic assist to Lilly.
MacMillan, a former standout at the University of Portland, had a handful of chances to score for the fans from the city where she was the unanimous college player of the year in 1995, but she had a pair of shots saved and was the victim of a few unlucky bounces.
MacMillan did notch her second assist to help the U.S. make it 5-0, striking a corner kick from the right side. Defender Cat Reddick headed the ball high in the air from just inside the penalty area. The ball dropped just under the crossbar, off Yates hands and down over the goal line in the 81st minute for the final result. It was Reddick's fifth career goal.
With the win the USA moves to 23-1-3 on the year and is now within four wins of breaking the record for most victories in a calendar year for the U.S. women, which is 26 set in 2000. The U.S. team has seven matches remaining on the "Fan Celebration Tour."
The "Fan Celebration Tour" stops next in next Cincinnati, Ohio, hometown of U.S. defender Heather Mitts, as the USA meets New Zealand again on Sunday, Oct. 10 at Paul Brown Stadium (4 p.m. ET). The USA will then face 2004 Olympic participant Mexico on Saturday, Oct. 16 at Arrowhead Stadium in Kansas City, Mo., (5 p.m. CT), before facing Ireland in a pair of matches, on Wed., October 20 at Soldier Field in Chicago (7:30 p.m. CT) and on Saturday, October 23 at Reliant Stadium in Houston, Texas (7 p.m. CT).
For every ticket purchased during the 10-game U.S. Women's National Team "Fan Celebration Tour," NikeGO will donate $1 of Nike soccer product to support the increase of girls soccer participation in each city. NikeGO is a grassroots community outreach program designed to achieve NIKE's overarching corporate goal of promoting youth health and fitness through sport.
The recipient of the NikeGO donation in Portland is the Portland Youth Soccer Association and Tualatin Hills Parks and Recreation Department.
U.S. WOMEN'S NATIONAL TEAM GAME REPORT
Match-up: USA vs. New Zealand
Competition: International Friendly - "Fan Celebration Tour"
Venue: PGE Park; Portland, Ore.
Date: Oct. 3, 2004; Kickoff - 5 p.m. PT
Weather: Clear, crisp - 72 degrees
1 2 F
USA 1 4 5
NZL 0 0 0
USA - Mia Hamm (Abby Wambach) 15th minute.
USA - Mia Hamm (Angela Hucles) 55.
USA - Abby Wambach (Kristine Lilly) 59.
USA - Kristine Lilly (Shannon MacMillan) 66.
USA - Cat Reddick (Shannon MacMillan) 81.
USA: 1-Briana Scurry (18-Kristin Luckenbill, 46); 3-Christie Rampone, 4-Cat Reddick, 6-Brandi Chastain (2-Heather Mitts, 46), 15-Kate Markgraf; 10-Aly Wagner (8-Angela Hucles, 46), 7-Shannon Boxx, 11-Julie Foudy - Capt., 13-Kristine Lilly (21-Tiffany Roberts, 70); 9-Mia Hamm (12-Cindy Parlow, 61), 20-Abby Wambach (19-Shannon MacMillan, 59).
Subs not used: 14-Joy Fawcett.
Head Coach: April Heinrichs.
NZL: 1-Pam Yates; 2-Melissa Ray (12-Jane Simpson, 40), 3-Zarnia Cogle (15-Kirsty Yallop, 67), 4-Priscilla Duncan (16-Rebecca Sowden, 46), 5-Maia Jackman, 6-Rebecca Smith (Capt.), 8-Hayley Moorwood (18-Pip Meo, 84), 9-Nicky Smith (17-Zoe Thompson, 57), 10-Amber Hearn, 14-Dana Humby, 20-Michele Keinzley (19-Anne Ormrod, 46).
Subs Not Used: 7-Simone Ferrara, 11-Rebecca Simpson, 13-Jenny Bindon, 21-Olivia Meares.
Head Coach: Paul Smalley.
Shots on Goal: 12/0
Corner Kicks: 10/1
NZL - Jane Simpson (caution) 89th minute.
Referee: Kari Seitz (USA)
Assistant Referee: Rachel Berg (USA)
Assistant Referee: Pamela Davis (USA)
Fourth Official: Krystin Lambalot (USA)
Chevrolet Player of the Game: Kristine Lilly
2004 U.S. WNT "Fan Celebration Tour" Results / Schedule