A new year, some new faces and a familiar result.
The World Champion U.S. Women’s National Team started 2016 with an easy 5-0 win over the Republic of Ireland. The friendly was played before more than 23,000 at Qualcomm Stadium in San Diego.
While several new faces suited up for the women’s team, it was a familiar face that led the team to victory. FIFA 2015 Women’s Player of the Year Carli Lloyd started the scoring early as she found the back of the net in the 6th minute to give the U.S. a 1-0 lead.
But Lloyd wasn’t finished. Goals at the 21st minute and 28th minute would give the USWNT a comfortable 3-0 and Lloyd a natural hat-trick.
Alex Morgan would extend the lead to 4-0 at the 45th minute and 17-year old Mallory Pugh, who replaced Morgan, scored her first senior team goal in her first cap for a 5-0 lead. Pugh is the 19th U.S. player to score in her debut, and the youngest USWNT goal scorer over the past 16 years.
The WNT is now 12-0-0 all-time vs. Ireland. Of the 12 meetings, seven have seen the U.S. score five goals.
Up next, the USWNT travels to the Lone Star State to begin the 2016 CONCACAF Women’s Olympic Qualifying Championship from Feb. 10-21 for a berth to the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro.