Team USA’s Head Coach Vlatko Andonovski gave Lindsey Horan the starting nod Friday night in Houston. The star from Colorado made the most of her 90+ minutes of play by delivering her first hat trick, playing tenacious defense, and earning Player of the Match honors.
Her all-around play confirmed her determination to earn another medal, this time, an Olympic gold medal.
The resounding 8-0 victory over FIFA’s 53rd-ranked Panama moved the USWNT into the semifinal round of the 2020 Olympic Qualifiers. Metro Los Angeles’ Dignity Health Sports Park will play host to both the semifinals and final games next weekend. The top two finishers will earn regional berths to the Olympic Games in Japan this summer.
In game two of the tournament, Head Coach Andonovski had Rose Lavelle, Andi Sullivan, and Lindsey Horan in the midfield. The trio dominated in box-to-box play by employing their combined soccer intelligence quotient, controlling the ball, and generating numerous scoring opportunities.
Horan put up impressive statistics
Horan’s performance validated her role as starter and team leader. It is fair to state that she channeled her ’come-off-the bench’ role during the Haiti match at Team Panama.
Passes Completed: 38/48
On Target: 7
Chances Creative: 3
Duels Won: 9
Horan’s hat trick boosted her USWNT career goals figure to 13. In this tournament, she has scored in both games and now has a team-leading four goals going into next Friday’s semifinal match.
Horan scores in the 3rd minute: From nine yards out, Horan bangs a shot on goal it off Panamanian keeper Yenith Baily and into the back of the net. 1-0 USA.
Horan scores again in the 18th minute: Horan, in the right place at the right time swats in an easy ball for her first career brace. USWNT 3-0.
Horan’s hat trick goal: Horan and McDonald combine twice during a near field long attack. McDonald’s final cross finds the oncoming Horan who thumps the ball into the goal. 8-0 USA.
Has the smiley face with a tear falling emoji dropped yet?— U.S. Soccer WNT (@USWNT) February 1, 2020
FIRST HATTY FOR OUR GAL. SO PROUD. pic.twitter.com/9LfBlHUTeg
In addition to Horan’s three goals, the reported crowd of 14,121 in Houston’s BBVA Compass Stadium treated was treated to goals from Lynn Williams, Jessica McDonald, Christen Press, Rose Lavelle, and Tobin Health. Goalkeeper Ashlyn Harris earned the clean sheet.
2020 Concacaf Group Stage Olympic Qualifying Standings
The U.S. and Costa Rica will play for the Group A title on Monday night in Houston. The winner earns a semifinal match-up against the Group B runner-up in Los Angeles. USWNT is ahead of Costa Rica’s Ticas on goal differential. They need only to tie to outright win the Group A. See Group Standings here.