| Thursday, November 7, 2002 06:16 EST
Parlow nets hat trick in rout
SEATTLE -- The United States will get a chance to defend its
1999 Women's World Cup title.
Cindy Parlow had three goals and helped the U.S. team clinch a
berth in next year's World Cup with a 7-0 thrashing of Costa Rica
in the CONCACAF Women's Gold Cup semifinals on Wednesday night.
"This is wonderful for our team,'' said U.S. coach April
Heinrichs. "We are genuinely elated about earning our way into the
Parlow, who plays for Atlanta of the WUSA, scored in the 30th
minute, 49th minute and 52nd minute to lead the United States to
its 15th straight game without a loss on an American pitch.
Parlow, who is the tallest player on the U.S. roster at
5-foot-11, used her height to her advantage. Two of her goals were
"My height advantage is a key to my game,'' she said. "And
tonight, the service I was getting from my teammates was the best
it's ever been with the national team.''
Angela Hucles, Shannon MacMillan, and Kristine Lilly also scored
for the Americans. Costa Rica's Cinthia Lopez was charged with an
own goal that gave the United States a 5-0 lead in the 79th minute.
Costa Rica packed it in on defense, keeping the U.S. team off
the scoreboard for much of the first half. The Americans hit the
cross bar three times in the first 19 minutes and eventually broke
Julie Foudy crossed from inside the 18-yard box, going far post
and Parlow one-touched it into the open net for the first goal of
Despite outshooting Costa Rica 18-0 in the first half, the lead
at the break was only one goal.
"It was a bit of a relief that we finally got a goal in the
first half,'' said Parlow. "We knew we were on top of them, and if
we kept attacking we figured that they'd eventually go in.''
U.S. goalkeeper Briana Scurry didn't face her first shot until
the 89th minute.
In the end, the U.S. crew outshot Costa Rica 37-1. In the first
four matches of the Gold Cup, the United States has outscored
When asked if there were any weaknesses on the American team,
Costa Rica coach Ricardo Rodriguez said that "the U.S. is such a
power house. I can't see any weaknesses on their team.''
The Americans will play Canada, which defeated Mexico 2-0 later
Wednesday, in the Nov. 9 final at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, Calif.
"We'll go after either team,'' Heinrichs said of their plan for
the final. "We won't sit back. We'll play attacking soccer and go
after whoever we play aggressively.''
Five other countries have already earned spots in next year's
Women's World Cup. China is in automatically as the host country,
and Germany, Norway, Russia and Sweden have qualified.