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March 2, 2012
Horanís three goals lead U-23 women past Guatemala

PANAMA CITY, Panama - Lindsey Horan scored three goals and the U.S. Under-20 Women's National Team defeated Guatemala 6-0 on Friday in the team's first Group B match of the CONCACAF U-20 Women's Championship at the Estadio Rommel Fernandez.

Horan's hat trick was the first of the tournament as the USA dominated offensively from start to finish. Next up for the U.S. U-20 squad is a Group B match against Cuba at 5 p.m. ET on Sunday, March 4.

The U.S. opened the scoring in the 12th minute. Defender Crystal Dunn made a fine dribbling run up the left side and provided the cross that Horan struck solidly with her head. Guatemala goalkeeper Stephanie Castellon got her gloves on the shot, but the ball bounced away to her right and crossed the line before she could reach back and slap it back into the field the field of play.

The USA doubled their lead in the 29th minute, when Julie Johnston picked off a poorly headed clearance from Guatemala's Waleska Barrios-CastaŮeda and blasted a shot into the upper left corner of the net.

Though the U.S. went into halftime with just two goals, the team put together a one-sided first 45 minutes that included some close chances, particularly Johnston's bicycle kick attempt in the 35th minute that went just wide left and Morgan Brian's 41st-minute shot from the top of the box that hit hard off the left post.

Horan got her second goal of the match seconds into the second half, slipping a right-footed shot from the left side just inside the far post past the diving Castellon.

Katie Stengel got into the scoring act with a 54th-minute header, and Dunn collected her second assist of the match with a well-placed delivery from the right flank. Then in the 60th minute, U.S. defender Cari Roccaro hammered a shot that was deflected slightly by a defender on its way into the net for a 5-0 lead.

The U.S. showed no signs of losing steam in the buildup leading to Horan's third tally in the 74th minute. Chioma Ubogagu did the brunt of the work with some creative maneuvering to elude Guatemala's defense and send in a cross. Maya Hayes cracked a header off the crossbar from close range, and the ball rebounded to hit the retreating defender and bounce off the crossbar again. Fortunately for the U.S., the ball then deflected to Horan, who hit an acrobatic falling half-volley to close out the scoring.

U.S. goalkeeper Bryane Heaberlin needed only one save for the clean sheet. Guatemala's lone attempt on goal came in the 28th minute, when Yoseline Razuleu took a deep free kick shot, but Heaberlin easily grabbed it.

Following the USA's match against Cuba on Sunday, the team wraps up Group B play against host Panama at 7:30 p.m. ET on Tuesday, March 6.

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