August 16, 2015
TEARING UP THE TICAS
Press, O'Reilly lead U.S. rout of Costa Rica
|Christen Press scored three goals in the United States Women's National Team 8-0 win over Costa Rica on Sunday.
Linda Cuttone/Sports Vue Images
PITTSBURGH ---Christen Press scored three goals and assisted on another and Heather O'Reilly scored twice as the U.S. Women's National Team routed Costa Rica in front of a crowd of 44,028 at Heinz Field.
The attendance set a record for the largest crowd for a stand-alone U.S. WNT match on home soil.
Pittsburgh a native Meghan Klingenberg, and defenders Julie Johnston and Whitney Engen also scored, while Ashlyn Harris and Hope Solo split the goalkeeping duties for the shutout. Solo made three saves in the second half on Costa Rica's only three shots.
The United States onslaught began early, when O'Reilly stripped a defender and raced into the Ticas' penalty area before putting a low shot to the near post in the fourth minute.
It took the U.S. 25 more minutes to add a second, but after that, the goals came more quickly. Press began her hat trick in the 29th minute, receiving a chip from Megan Rapinoe in the penalty area. After opening up some space, Press's first shot was blocked by a defender, but the rebound fell back to her and she drilled a left-footed shot into the right side of the net.
A Rapinoe corner kick set up Johnston on the 36th minute. The U.S. center back sent a powerful header into the middle of the next past a falling Diaz for her fourth career goal.
Press added her second in the 45th minute, a goal that started with another Rapinoe corner kick. This time the service was met by Shannon Boxx at the back post. Boxx sent a header back across goal that Costa Rica goalkeeper Dinnia Diaz tried to swat away, but her clearance fell to the feet of Press in the center of the six-yard box and she slammed the ball home from close range just before the halftime whistle.
Klingenberg opened the scoring 11 minutes into the second half. Tobin Heath carried the ball at pace down Costa Rica's left side to the end line and cut the ball back into the middle of the box. Klingenberg ran onto the service and with a great bit of skill, redirected the ball with her left foot into the far side netting from 10 yards out.
In the 60th minute, Lori Chalupny played a bal into Press on the right side of the area. She pivoted and chipped a shot off the cross bar. The ball fell to O'Reilly who slammed it into the open net for the second multi-goal game of her career.
From yet another set piece, in the 63rd minute, the USA targeted Wambach at the far post, and the world's all-time leading goal scorer headed the ball down toward goal. As it bounced back up off the ground, Engen snuck in front of a waiting Diaz to snap a header into the back of the net for her fourth international goal.
In the 68th minute, O'Reilly drove down the left flank and picked out Press. Press controlled the ball, then snapped a shot from near the top of the box into the upper left-hand corner of the goal.
Despite giving up eight goals, Diaz made a couple of impressive saves, charging out of her goal in the 8th minute to make a diving save on a shot by Klingenberg, then punching a rocker by Boxx in the 17th minute over the bar.
Costa Rica's only three shots in the game came n the second half, and Solo was called on immediately after coming on at the half. A chipped diagonal pass put Karla Villalobos in alone on goal. Solo charged out of the net, cut down the angle and got a piece of Villalobos' shot, forcing it to skid wide of the left of the goal.
The second game of the U.S.' victory tour is on Wednesday, August 19, against the same Costa Rica team, at Legion Field in Chattanooga, Tennessee.