On January 20, 2012, the United States Women’s National Team began its quest to qualify for the 2012 Olympics. The USWNT opened up play against the Dominican Republic, and let’s just say the Dominican players did not sign up for what was about to happen. The USWNT, fresh off a penalty kick loss to Japan in the 2011 Women’s World Cup final, wanted to make a statement as they seeked to qualify to defend their gold medal in the Olympics. What commenced was the most lopsided victory in U.S. Soccer history.
The scoring began with Abby Wambach’s goal about 35 seconds into the match, a header off a terrific cross from Heather O’Reilly. Carli Lloyd and Rachel Buehler both added goals inside the first 7 minutes, and the rout was on. By halftime, it was 7-0 and the Dominican Republic was already throwing in the towel.
The second half did not see the USWNT issue a truce. Instead, it became the Amy Rodriguez show. A-Rod notched 5 goals in the first 30 minutes of the 2nd half, her final goal coming in the 75th minute to make it 13-0. Heather O’Reilly completed the scoring and her hat trick in the 78th minute, and it was cruise control from there.
The match report is tremendous: 49 shots, 25 in frame, 9 corner kicks. USWNT goalkeeper Hope Solo had to make just one save complete her clean sheet. The Dominican goalkeeper had 9 saves on the 25 shots.
Amy Rodriguez led all scorers with 5 goals and 1 assist. Heather O’Reilly had 3 goals and 3 assists. Lauren Cheney Lauren Holiday had 1 goal and 4 assists, Abby Wambach added 2 goals and an assist, and Carli Lloyd and Tobin Heath rounded out the scoring.
It was a complete performance, one that the USWNT would use as a confidence boost to propel them to qualify for and eventually defend their Olympic gold medal that summer in London. Not all beatdowns have importance, and for many, you learn very little about your team. The D.R. just wasn’t ready for prime time, and it showed. Still, a historic victory showed the USWNT that a complete performance can mean bushels of goals.
You like goals? Well, here’s 14 of them! Recap a date that will live in U.S. Soccer history...or, at least until this record is matched or surpassed one day.