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USWNT dominates Dominicans, awards season

Alex Morgan of USA (hidden) celebrates the first

Alex Morgan of USA (hidden) celebrates the first goal with her team during the FIFA Women's World Cup Final match. (July 17, 2011) Credit: Getty Images

The U.S. Women's National Team throughly thrashed the Dominican Republic in their first-ever match, 14-0, Friday night, led by a record-tying five-goal performance by Amy Rodriguez. The U.S. scored seven goals in each half in the CONCACAF Olympic qualifier, with Heather O'Reilly and Abby Wambach also contributing three and two goals, respectively.

The 14 goals set a U.S. record -- although I assume it's one of those records that doesn't qualify as "memorable." How much is too much? Fourteen goals is a little gaudy, but sometimes the opponent simply doesn't come close to stacking up -- no matter what a coach does to curb the attack. These things happen.

I didn't see the match, so I can't judge. Let's just present some jaw-dropping stats:

-- The 14 goals broke the previous record of 12, previously set in consecutive games in 1991 against Mexico and Martinique.

-- Rodriguez's five goals all came in the second half. Wambach, Michelle Akers, Tiffeny Milbrett and Brandi Chastain all have five-goal performances on their resumes.

-- Wambach scored the first goal just 37 seconds into the game, which is "believed to be the fastest goal in U.S. history," according to U.S. Soccer. O'Reilly scored a goal 40 seconds into a match against New Zealand in 2008.

-- Wambach scored her 126th and 127th career goals. She is still third on the all-time list, but just three behind Kristine Lilly. Mia Hamm (158 goals) still leads the pack.

-- The Americans outshot the Domincans, 49-3.

The dominating performance came after the team picked up a slew of awards handed out by U.S. Soccer. Of the 11 "2011 Best of U.S. Soccer" awards doled out, the women's team snagged seven of them.

As you might have guessed, several of the awards came from one memorable match:

-- Best goal (Abby Wambach's stunning, 122nd-minute goal against Brazil in the World Cup quarterfinal)

-- Best assist (Megan Rapinoe's memorable cross to Wambach on that very, same goal)

-- Best team performance (You guessed it, the USWNT vs. Brazil)

A few days later, the U.S. honored the players of the year. Wambach was named the 2011 Female Athlete of the Year, while Sydney Leroux was named the best Young Female Athlete. It was Wambach's fifth time winning the award (2003, 2004, 2007, 2010).

New York Sports