Abby Wambach added to her world-leading goal total by finding the back of the net twice in the first half. Wambach increased her international goals to 180 and now has 44 multigoal games. Julie Johnston capped the scoring with her third goal in as many games — Johnston, who is a defender, now has three career international goals in 10 contests according to the Associated Press.
The U.S. controlled the game from start to finish but wasn’t able to put anything on the board until late in the first half when the Americans took advantage of a Irish mishap. In the 42nd minute, an Irish defender attempted to clear Megan Repinoe’s corner kick but the clearance attempt went awry, hitting the face of Irish defender Meabh De Burca, and rolled back to U.S. forward Christen Press on the right side of the penalty box. Press settled the ball and then passed it over to Wambach, who swept the ball into the net.
Three minutes later, Wambach headed in her second goal of the match off a cross from Carli Loyd as the U.S. went into halftime leading 2-0.
Johnston scored on a header in the 54th minute off of a Lauren Holley corner kick. The U.S. fired off 26 shots, with 10 being on goal, while Ireland wasn’t able to muster a single shot. The U.S. also had 19 corner kicks and didn’t permit the Irish to take one.
The shutout was Hope Solo’s fourth straight and 83rd of her career. Solo has appeared in 168 international matches.
Bleacher Report reported that prior to the game, Repinoe was honored for her 100th appearance with the national team. The game also marked 100th cap for Lori Chalupny.
Goalkeepers Ashlyn Harris and Alyssa Naeher along with Christie Rampone and Whitney Egen did not make an appearance for the U.S. Forward Alex Morgan (bone bruise in left knee) and midfielder Tobin Heath (hamstring) missed the game with injuries. Morgan will also miss next Sunday’s game against Mexico.
Fox Sports surprised the U.S. players by flying all of their moms to the game, including head coach Jill Ellis’, for Mother’s Day.
With the victory over Ireland, the U.S. improves to 11-0-0 all-time versus the Irish, outscoring them 40-1 in the series. The U.S. is unbeaten in its last six contests and 6-1-1 in 2015 overall. The Americans have already captured one tournament championship (The Algarve Cup). The U.S. has outscored their opponents 15-3 this year.
The U.S. will continue its three game “Send-off Series” before heading to Winnipeg, Manitoba, for the World Cup on June 8. The U.S. will play Mexico on May 17 and North Korea on May 30.
The U.S. will open World Cup play against Australia. Nigeria and Sweden are the other two teams in Group D. The World Cup is being played in six Canadian cities over the course of about a month, with the final set for July 5 in Vancouver, British Columbia.
[Photo by Tom Dulat/Getty Images]