VANCOUVER, B.C. – The highest ranked team in Women’s soccer took to the pitch last night for a game against 88th ranked Dominican Republic and it wasn’t a game at all. Team USA annihilated and destroyed the Dominican Republic 14-0, Friday evening at BC Place Stadium in Vancouver. The shots on goal favoured Team USA 25 to 1. Hope Solo could have taken this game off and danced up a storm at one of the local clubs on Granville St. More than a few American players had a night to remember, but the star of the game goes to super substitute Amy Rodriguez who came on at the half and scored 5 goals in the next 30 minutes.
Amy Rodriguez was trying not to take too much credit after the game: “This never happened to me before. I couldn’t have asked for more. I think our team played great today. We played as a unit a lot of our goals came off some great combination plays. It wasn’t just me it was all my teammates helping me get there.”
Coach Pia Sundhage had nothing but positive things to say about Rodriguez after the game: “I’m really happy for her and for the team because we talked about her and how she can change a game. This start was more than I could ask for and scoring that many goals.”
Abby Wambach opened the scoring 37 seconds into the game thanks to a nifty header that came from a Heather O’Reilly cross. Wambach also scored in the 19th minute after Dominican Republic goalkeeper Heidy Salazar let in Wambach’s weak shot. Of all 14 goals allowed last night the second goal by Abby Wambach is the one that every goalkeeper at any level should save. Salazar didn’t get any help from her teammates and looked lost in the net all game long. Alex Morgan came on for Wambach at half-time after she banged her left knee on the field turf.
Some critics might say Team USA should have backed off and just past the ball around in the second half instead of running up the score and embarrassing the Dominican Republic. Abby Wambach didn’t quite see it that way after the game: “Soccer is an amazing sport and there’s all different levels of competition all around the world. Obviously the score makes people feel like it wasn’t even a competition. This is a tournament and in this tournament specifically we want to win our group stage and in order to win our group stage it might come down to goal differential so we needed to take care of business in the second half.”
Amy Rodriguez wasn’t the only player to record a hat-trick for the US. Heather O’Reilly had 3 goals and 2 assists in a fantastic game. The East Brunswick, NJ, native was all over the pitch reeking havoc and could have easily had a 5 goal performance too.
Lauren Cheney had 4 assists and played a perfect role as playmaker setting up her teammates time and time again. Three of those assists came on Amy Rodriguez goals. Despite all her amazing passes Cheney wasn’t shutout in the goal scoring department. In the 64th minute Heather O’Reilly did all the work setting up Cheney in close for the 11th US goal of the game.
Carli Lloyd, Rachel Buehler, and Tobin Heath also scored for Team USA. Heath made her 6th career start in the US lineup.
Even though Team USA dominated the game they weren’t able to win without an injury. In the 42nd minute defender Ali Krieger went down and had to be stretchered off. Heather Mitts came on for Krieger who was seen walking around with the assistance of crutches after the game. Media reports suggest Krieger seriously injured her right knee. Coach Pia Sundhage wasn’t offering much of an update after the game: “We don’t know but we’ll find out tomorrow. It’s probably a serious injury by tomorrow we’ll know exactly what it is.”
Team USA plays its next game on Sunday afternoon at 4:30pm against 85th ranked Guatemala. Guatemala lost their first game of the tournament 5-0 to Mexico earlier on Friday.
Notes: The attendance for the game was 6,321.