Lynn Williams celebrates one of her two goals. (Reinhold Matay-USA TODAY Sports)
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – The U.S. women’s national team closed out the year with a 6-0 win vs. Costa Rica in front of 12,914 fans at TIAA Bank Field Sunday night.
Lynn Williams connected for two second-half strikes while Carli Lloyd, Morgan Brian and Christen Press also scored. The final goal came via Costa Rica own goal before a crowd of 12,914, the smallest crowd of the year to watch the USWNT.
The USA heads into 2020 on a winning note after compiling a 20-1-3 record, marking 12th time in 35 years of USWNT play the team has won 20 or more games in a calendar year.
Like in many matches this year, the USA again wasted no time taking control of the match. For the second consecutive game Lloyd scored an early goal, this time in the fourth minute. With 16 goals in 2019, Lloyd finished as the USWNT’s top scorer, marking the third time she has led the team in scoring. She tied as the leading scorer once.
Brian, playing in the city where she spent almost her entire youth soccer career, doubled the advantage in the 10th minute and the USA cruised into the break sporting the 2-0 lead.
U.S. head coach Vlatko Andonovski, who handed debuts to defenders Midge Purce and Alana Cook when he included them in the Starting XI, made three subs at halftime, bringing on goalkeeper Adriana Franch for Ashlyn Harris, Andi Sullivan for veteran defender Becky Sauerbrunn and Williams for Lloyd.
Within five minutes of the restart, Williams had made an impact by scoring the third goal. Press added a tally for a second consecutive game with a solo effort in 56th minute to put the U.S. up 4-0. Williams added her second and the USWNT’s fifth in the 68th and nearly had a hatotrick but her attempt was cleared off the line by goalkeeper Noelia Bermúdez.
Costa Rica was not without its opportunities throughout the game, twice hitting the crossbar and at times possessing the ball well, but Harris and Franch recorded one save a piece.
The USA’s continued pressure paid off in the 86th minute when a Purce cross was deflected for an own goal by Costa Rica defender Stephanie Blanco to provide the final margin of victory.
The USWNT’s first games of the team’s 2020 schedule will be at the Concacaf Women’s Olympic Qualifying Championship, which will begin on Jan. 28 with group play in Houston and Edinburgh, Texas before culminating with the semifinals and title game in Carson, Calif. The USA will hold its traditional training camp in January to begin the year and prepare for Olympic qualifying.