Gold Cup soccer: Teen Olivia Moultrie leads U.S. women past Dominical Republic

Feb. 21 (UPI) -- Teen striker Olivia Moultrie scored twice, finding the net in each half, to lead the United States Women's National Team to a 5-0 shutout of the Dominican Republic in a women's Gold Cup tournament opener.

Lynn Williams, Alex Morgan and Jenna Nighswonger also scored in the Group A meeting Tuesday at Dignity Health Sports Park in Carson, Calif. That match was the Americans' first of 2024.


"We are really pleased to get a win and really pleased to get more experience for some of our less experienced players," U.S. women's interim manager Twila Kilgore told reporters.

"There was a little bit of an experience gap, but lots of talent. I'm really pleased with some of the adjustments that were made."

Midfielder Midge Purce assisted Williams and the second Moultrie score. Striker Sophia Smith assisted the 18-year-old's first goal. The Americans outshot the Dominicans 33-1 and held an edge of 69% to 31% in possession and 426 to 122 in correct passes.


Moultrie drew first blood in the seventh minute. The Americans worked the ball back through the defense to arrange that attack.

Smith then received a pass about 30 yards away from the net, with her back to the goal. She bodied away a defender and sent a pass to center midfielder Korbin Albert. Albert then fired another pass to the right end line for Purce, who did a quick give-and-go with midfielder Emily Sonnett.

Purse penetrated into the box and took her dribble to the near post before sending a pass in front of the goal. Smith tapped the feed on to the far post, where Moultrie finished from point-blank range for her first national team goal.

Williams doubled the lead in the 30th minute. Purce received a pass on the right flank and took her dribble into the box to organize that offensive assault. She then sent a pass in front of the net for Williams. The veteran winger finished that play with a one-touch tap into the right side of the net.

Moultrie scored her second goal in the 58th minute, giving the Americans a 3-0 lead. Purce set up that score by carrying her dribble above the box before pulling off a hesitation move on an overly aggressive defender. She then split several additional defenders with a precise pass in to Moultrie, who used her left boot to shoot into the left side of the net.

Nighswonger and Morgan scored the final two goals off penalty kicks in the 86th and 92nd minutes.

Morgan's goal was her 122nd for the national team. She sits just eight behind Kristine Lilly for fourth on the all-time list. Abby Wambach leads that list with 184 goals, followed by Mia Hamm (158), Carli Lloyd (134), Lilly and then Morgan.

The Americans lead the Group A Concacaf W Gold Cup standings with a 1-0 record. Argentina and Mexico tied 0-0 in their Group A opener Tuesday in Carson.

The U.S. women will face the Argentines in their second group stage match at 10:15 p.m. EST Friday in Carson. They will play Mexico in the group stage finale on Monday in Carson.

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