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November 28, 2012
US Women romp over Ireland, 5-0

Alex Morgan staked the US Women to a 3-0 lead before halftime of Wednesday’s 5-0 win over Ireland.
Alex Morgan staked the US Women to a 3-0 lead before halftime of Wednesday’s 5-0 win over Ireland.
Linda Cuttone/Sports Vue Images
PORTLAND, Ore. ---Alex Morgan scored three goals in the first half and Sydney Leroux added two more in the second as the U.S. Women’s National Team rolled to an easy 5-0 win over Ireland in front of 10,092 at Jeld-Wen Field Wednesday night.

It took until the 24th minute for the US to crack the scoreboard, but then the goals came every ten minutes in the first half.

Morgan opened the scoring in the 24th, taking a ball from Heather Mitts, cutting inside and hitting a low shot through traffic that went in off the post.

Ten minutes later, Lauren Cheney slid the ball across the penalty area to Morgan, who hit it past Ireland goalkeeper Emma Byrne from ten yards out.

Morgan completed her hat trick in the 44th minute, with an unassisted goal. After getting a pass from Abby Wambach, Morgan’s initial shot was blocked, but she picked up her own rebound and hit a right- footed shot past the Ireland goalkeeper.

Morgan's second-career hat trick upped her total to 27 goals in 2012 and made her just the third U.S. player in history to surpass 25 goals in a calendar year. Abby Wambach scored 31 in 2004, while Michelle Akers holds the record with 39 in 1991.

Morgan's first career hat trick came in the 2012 Algarve Cup in Portugal last March when she scored three goals in the 4-0 victory against Sweden in the third-place match of the tournament.

Leroux, who replaced Megan Rapinoe in the 59th minute, didn’t take long to factor into the game, after a formation shift to 4-3-3, with the former UCLA star up front along with Cheney and Amy Rodriguez.

Just three minutes after Leroux entered the game, Heather O’Reilly found her head with a cross, which she easily settled into the net from seven yards out.

Leroux added her second goal in the 81st minute, this time on a set up from Rodriguez. Cheney brought the ball up and cut it across to A-Rod. Rodriguez sent it out wide to Leroux, who one-timed it under Byrne.

The U.S. dominated much of the game, outshooting Ireland 20-3. Hope Solo played the first half without making a save. Nicole Barnhart made one save, late in the game.

After playing Germany to back-to-back ties, the U.S . picked up their fourth win of the post-Olympic Fan Celebration Tour. They face Ireland again on Saturday at the University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale, Ariz., before concluding the tour with three games against China on December 8 in Detroit, the 12th in Houston and the 15th in Boca Raton, Florida.
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