U.S. Women thump Australia 4-0

The U.S. women's national team cruised past Australia 4-0 in Melbourne on Feb. 28 in their first match since winning the Olympic gold medal last summer.

Two gold medalists and 1996 NCAA champions combined to open the scoring for the U.S. in the 12th minute. North Carolina's Tiffany Roberts sent a cross from the deep right flank to Cindy Parlow, who headed the ball over the Australian keeper.

Tisha Venturini made it 2-0 five minutes before halftime when she out-jumped a pair of defenders at the far post to head home Mia Hamm's free kick.

After the interval, the U.S. continued to attack, and Danielle Fotopoulos headed in the third American goal from a soft chip by Lilly. It was the University of Florida striker's fourth goal in just three international appearances.

Hamm rounded out the scoring just two minutes later, when she ran onto a through ball from Lilly and beat the keeper to the left post.

The U.S. outshot Australia 14-2.

The match marked the international debut of former Monmouth standout Christie Pearce.

The U.S. women play Australia again on March 2 in Bathurst and on March 5 in Canberra.

Feb. 28 in Melbourne

Australia 0 USA 4. Goals: Parlow 12, Venturini 40, Fotopoulos 73, Hamm 75.

Australia -- Kitching, Starr, Salisbury, Peters, Gegenhuber, Casagrande, Black (Swatter, 73), Hevell (Taylor, 60), Youman, Boyd (Dunne, 85), Hughes.

USA -- Scurry (Noonan, 46), Chastain, Fair, Staples (Pearce, 46), Roberts (Fotopoulos, 63), Foudy, Venturini (Baumgardt, 46), Lilly, Milbrett, Hamm, Parlow (Keller, 46).

Att.: 1,500.

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