VANCOUVER, CANADA - JANUARY 24: Carli Lloyd #10 of the United States celebrates after scoring her second goal of the game against Mexico during second half of the 2012 CONCACAF Women's Olympic Qualifying Tournament at BC Place on January 24, 2012 in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. (Photo by Rich Lam/Getty Images)
The US Women did it again last night, defeating a Mexican squad that actually gave them a run for their money. Don't let the 4-0 score fool you; the USWNT got lucky with two quick goals in the 7th and 8th minutes. That was it for the first half. Despite the strong will of Mexico, it wasn't enough to stop the US who scored two more goals in the second half, winning Group B with all nine points. The US will now move on to the semifinals where they will play Costa Rica. This will be the most important game of the tournament, with the winner securing a spot in the 2012 London Summer Olympics.
Midfielder Carli Lloyd led the USWNT last night with three of the teams four goals, netting her first career hat trick. Unlike the previous two games where star forward Abby Wambach scored the opening goals, Lloyd would be the one to do it in this game, scoring the first of her three goals in the 7th minute. Heather O'Reilly would go on to score the second goal of the game in the 8th. That would be all the scoring until the 57th minute, with Lloyd scoring her second goal of the game with a beautiful header off of a free kick. She would cap off the night with her third goal coming in the 86th minute off a pass from Rachel Buehler.
Near the end of the game, USWNT keeper Hope Solo was seen favoring her right quad which she was quoted as saying was, "a little quad pull." Despite the game being all but won, Solo played to the finish, apparently not hurting enough that she felt she needed to be subbed out. She will need to rest up as the US plays Costa Rica in just two days time. While the injury doesn't seem serious, these quad pulls tend to linger.
The USA vs. Costa Rica semifinal will be played on January 27th at 8:00 p.m. The game will be broadcast on Universal Sports Network as well as concacaf.com and universalsports.com. Going into the game against Costa Rica, the USWNT have a total of 31 goals in the tournament, as well as two previous wins against the Costa Rican squad in 2004 and 2008 to qualify.