Feb. 4 (UPI) -- Christen Press and Sam Mewis each scored twice to lead the United States Women's National Team to a 6-0 trashing of Costa Rica in the CONCACAF Women's Olympic Qualifying soccer tournament.
Lindsey Horan and Jessica McDonald also netted goals in the lopsided affair Monday at BBVA Stadium in Houston. The win helped the U.S. women's team finish at the top of Group A. The U.S. women's team has now gone unbated in 26 consecutive games. They outscored their opponents 18-0 in three group stage games.
Costa Rica and the U.S. women's team had already earned spots in the semifinals of the tournament before the match. The eight-team field is used to determine two berths for this summer at the Tokyo Olympics. The U.S. women's team has qualified for the Olympics every year since women's soccer was introduced to the Summer Games in 1996. They have four gold medals and have won the qualifying tournament five consecutive times.
Star forward Carli Lloyd had two assists in Monday's win. She played a crucial role in Press' first goal in the fourth minute. Lloyd flicked a header forward to find Press' boot about 40 yards from the goal during the initial scoring sequence. Press then took her dribble inside, cruising toward the top of the Costa Rica box. She then cut her dribble from right to left, faking out several defenders. Press finished the play by bending a left-footed strike into the upper-left corner of the net, beating Costa Rica keeper Priscilla Tapia.
Lloyd also assisted the next goal in the 10th minute. Fullback Ali Krieger threaded a pass up to Lloyd at the top of the box during that exchange. Lloyd then split several defenders to find Horan as she ran into the box. The midfielder used her first touch to ground a shot into the right side of the net.
Press found the net for a second time in the 36th minute, helping the U.S. women's team earn a 3-0 lead at the break. Press received a ball from Ali Krieger at the start of that play. She dribbled into the box, before lifting a strike into the upper right corner of the net, beating a diving Tapia.
Press logged an assist on the fourth goal of the game. The star forward sent a free kick in from the right side during that 63rd minute score. The feed fell into the box, where Mewis was there to tap it past Tapia for a 4-0 lead.
Mewis assisted the next score in the 77th minute, sending a ball across the face of the goal and finding Jessica McDonald at the far post. The striker used her first touch to tap a shot into an open net, catching Tapia out of position.
Mewis scored the final goal in the 82nd minute, heading a feed from Kelley O'Hara off the crossbar and into the net.
The U.S. women's team plays Canada or Mexico in a CONCACAF Women's Olympic Qualifying semifinal at 10 p.m. EST Friday at Dignity Health Sports Park in Carson, Calif.