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OLYMPICS: Shannon Boxx bags a trio as Americans romp in CONCACAF women's opener
February 26th, 2004 2:47PM

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Shannon Boxx scored three goals and Mia Hamm added a pair, plus two assists, as the U.S. women's national team destroyed Trinidad & Tobago in its opener Wednesday at the CONCACAF Olympic qualifying opener.

Kristine Lilly and Abby Wambach also tallied in the Americans' 7-0 romp, in which they dominated from start to finish.

The U.S. women outshot the Soca Princesses, 27-1, putting 18 shots on frame while goalkeeper Briana Scurry needed to make only one save to notch the shutout. It was 6-0 by halftime and could have been 10-0 or 11-0 if not for several spectacular stops by T&T goalkeeper Nicole Mitchell.

U.S. Soccer announced the crowd at Nacional Stadium in San Jose, Costa Rica, as 750. CONCACAF reported it was 1,500.

Mexico romped past Haiti, 5-0, in its opener as Paty Perez netted a hat trick and Maribel Dominguez and Iris Mora added late goals. The United States meets Haiti on Friday and Mexico on Sunday.

Group A play begins Thursday in Heredia, with Canada meeting Jamaica and host Costa Rica taking on Panama. The winners of the March 3 semifinals qualify for the Aug. 11-26 tournament at the Athens Olympics.

Boxx, a defensive midfielder, scored in the 22nd, 37th and 81st minutes, giving her eight goals in 13 international appearances. Hamm nudged closer to an unprecedented 150 goals, netting her 145th and 146th three minutes apart just before halftime.

''I'm really pleased with our team's approach to this game,'' U.S. coach April Heinrichs said. ''We've worked hard for the last few weeks, and they got rewarded for that. They were determined to play patient soccer, to mix it up and be very unpredictable.''

The Americans applied heavy pressure from the opening whistle but couldn't score their first until Boxx's first, which bounced inside the left corner from 18 yards off the remains of a corner kick.

Lilly got hers three minutes later, a 30-yard left-footer to the goal's left side, and the U.S. women added four more in an eight-minute span near the end of the first half.

Boxx headed home a Hamm corner kick in the 37th minute to make it 3-0, and Hamm volleyed to the left corner from 18 yards in the 41st after Boxx lofted a ball over the T&T backline.

Wambach nodded in Lilly's corner kick in the 42nd, and Hamm finished from close range in the 44th after Lindsay Tarpley freed Wambach on the left side of the box.

The Americans started a similar lineup as in the Four Nations tournament, except with Hamm attacking from the right instead of Shannon MacMillan.

Aly Wagner (for Tarpley) and Leslie Osborne (for captain Julie Foudy) came on at halftime, and both were cautioned shortly afterward in an odd situation. Canadian referee Jillian Proctor halted the game in the 49th minute, conferred with Guyanan fourth official Diane Ferreira James, then showed Wagner and Osborne yellow cards for failing to follow proper substitution procedure.

MacMillan subbed for Wambach at the hour mark, following correct procedure en route to the field. The Americans were out of substitutions, so they played with 10 women after Osborne sustained a two-inch gash above her left eye after cracking heads with Tasha St. Louis while they battled for a header just a few seconds after MacMillan entered.

Six stitches were needed to close Osborne's wound, and she returned to the field, who will be a senior at Santa Clara University next fall, needed six stitches to close her wound. She returned to the field in the 85th minute, her head wrapped in a bandage, and played the final five minutes of regulation and four minutes of stoppage time.

Boxx completed her hat trick in the 81st minute following a superb sequence begun when Lilly drove a cross from the left wing over T&T's packed defense to Hamm, on the right side of the area. Hamm sliced past a defender into position to shoot but instead laid the ball off for Wagner.

Wagner's blast ricocheted off a defender's leg, off the crossbar and out to the top of the box. Boxx's first-time blast found the left side of the net.

Said Boxx: ''I was really just in the right place at the right time.''

Trinidad & Tobago's one chance arrived in the 33rd minute. St. Louis dispossessed defender Christie Rampone and fed Jinelle James on the left side of the U.S. box. James' shot to the near post was parried by Scurry.

CONCACAF OLYMPIC QUALIFYING TOURNAMENT
at San Jose and Heredia, Costa Rica

Wednesday, Feb. 25 at Nacional Stadium (San Jose)

United States 7 Trinidad & Tobago 0. Goals: Boxx 22, 37, 81, Lilly 25, Hamm 41, 44, Wambach 42.

United States -- Scurry; Markgraf, Fawcett, Reddick, Rampone; Boxx, Foudy (Osborne, 46); Hamm, Tarpley (Wagner, 46), Lilly; Wambach (MacMillan, 60).

Trinidad & Tobago -- Mitchell; Noel, N. James (Reyes 69), J. James (Des Vignes, 75), McGee; Attin-Johnson, St. Louis, Nixon, Mollon, L.A. James; John (Elder, 53).

Yellow cards: U.S. -- Wagner 49, Osborne 49; T&T -- Attin-Johnson 69.

Referee: Jillian Proctor (Canada).

Att.: 750.

Wednesday's other result

Mexico 5 (Perez 7, 55, 63, Dominguez 80, Mora 84) Haiti 0

GROUP A
Schedule

Feb. 26 (Heredia): Canada vs. Jamaica, Costa Rica vs. Panama.

Feb. 28 (San Jose): Canada vs. Panama, Costa Rica vs. Jamaica.

March 1 (Heredia): Jamaica vs. Panama, Costa Rica vs. Canada.

GROUP B
W L T GF GA Pts

United States 1 0 0 7 0 3
Mexico 1 0 0 5 0 3
Haiti 0 1 0 0 5 0
Trin. & Tobago 0 1 0 0 7 0

Results

Feb. 25 at San Jose
United States 7 (Boxx 22, 37, 81, Lilly 25, Hamm 41, 44, Wambach 42) Trinidad & Tobago 0
Mexico 5 (Perez 7, 55, 63, Dominguez 80, Mora 84) Haiti 0

Schedule

Feb. 27 (Heredia): Trinidad & Tobago vs. Mexico, Haiti vs. United States.

Feb. 29 (San Jose): Haiti vs. Trinidad & Tobago, United States vs. Mexico.

SEMIFINALS

March 3 at San Jose

FINAL/THIRD-PLACE GAME

March 5 at Heredia

Note: Semifinal winners advance to Athens Olympics



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