Carli Lloyd wasn’t expected to be among the goal scorers for the U.S. Women’s National Team as much as she used to be. The 36-year-old silenced her critics with a hat-trick on Sunday as Jill Ellis’ side rolled to their second straight win in World Cup Qualifying.
The USWNT downed Panama, 5-0, in Cary, North Carolina, with Lloyd, Sam Mewis, and Christen Press all getting on the scoresheet.
Mewis kicked things off in the fifth minute, rising high on a corner kick by Press and heading into the bottom-right corner. It was the midfielder’s eighth goal for the USWNT.
Holding onto an early lead allowed the USWNT to take more chances offensively, and they continued their first-half onslaught in the 23rd minute. Press sent another corner kick into the box and Lloyd this time headed into the back of the net.
Lloyd added her second of the night in the 28th minute, this time showing off her skill on the ball. Lloyd was able to dance past three Panamanian defenders before ripping a right-footed effort into the right side of the net.
Press capped off the dominant first half, slotting home on a breakaway in the 32nd minute. A ball was played behind the Panama backline which allowed Press to fake out the goalkeeper before scoring easily.
Lloyd netted her 105th career goal for the USWNT early in the second-half, heading home a great free kick in by Rose Lavelle.
It was another dominant performance by the No. 1 team in the world as they clinched a spot in the semifinals of Concacaf World Cup Qualifying. A pair of clean sheets has the USWNT sitting on a goal difference of +11 and they will look to wrap up Group A on Wednesday against Trinidad & Tobago.
A victory or tie against T&T will clinch Group A for the USWNT.