Dunn ties U.S. record in 10-0 win over Puerto Rico

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By TOM SLATER

Mallory Pugh and Crystal Dunn seem past just simply trying to make the United States Women’s National Team 18-player roster for the Summer Olympics in Rio.

They’re making the case to be irreplaceable.

Both were among the top players on the field as the United States cruised past Puerto Rico, 10-0. Dunn scored two goals in the opening half and exploded for three more in the second as the Americans scored goals in bunches. Her five goals tied a United States record for goals in a game.

Pugh was all over the field, creating and freewheeling to set up two first-half goals and forced Puerto Rico to knock one in her own net in the second half.

The game was never in doubt even with the United States inserting eight new players in the starting lineup. Only Carli Lloyd, Ali Kreiger and Dunn started the previous two matches.

Pugh got things started in the 6th minute when she made an outstanding run, stepping over the ball to create separation and slid a pass slightly behind Dunn. Dunn put a great first touch to create her own shot and slide the ball to far post. Twelve minutes later, Pugh took the ball wide again and cut into the penalty box. She moved in between two Puerto Rican defenders and went down, with the referee calling a penalty. Lloyd hit a shot top shelf that just went in under the cross bar.

Dunn added another goal when Jaelene Hinkle served from the left side. Christen Press beat Puerto Rican goalkeeper Karly Gustafson to the ball and slipped it to Dunn who hit it into an empty net. Sky Blue FC veteran Kelley O’Hara ended the first half flurry with a cheeky goal in stoppage time. Lloyd floated a 40-yard ball to Stephanie McCaffrey on the right wing. She sent a hard square ball to the middle slightly behind O’Hara, but the defender played the ball with her heel through her legs and past Gustafson.

The Americans exploded in the second half to make it a rout. Pugh started it off in the 61st minute but trying to hit Alex Morgan far post but the ball deflected off a Puerto Rican defender for an own goal. Less than a minute later, Dunn picked up her hat trick with a 10-yard run from the center of the field, blasting a long shot just outside the box. Press got her goal in the 63rd minute when Pugh left a ball for her at the top of the box.

Dunn added her fourth goal when she was on the end of a wonderful display of two-touch soccer, getting on the end of a Meghan Klingenberg cross at far post. She put her fifth goal in two minutes later by taking a ball out of the air with one touch and putting it far post. She doubled the number of her international goals in this game, giving her 10.

Sam Mewis got her first international goal after a couple of near misses as time ran out.

The victory gives the United States the bracket top spot with nine points. Costa Rica finished second by beating Mexico, 2-1, in the opening match of the doubleheader. Raquel Rodriguez scored both goal for Costa Rica.

The United States will play the runner-up in Bracket B play while Costa Rica will most likely play Canada.