Saturday, November 2, 2013
2 November 2002 - Milbrett Takes Five
The US entered the competition as the defending champions and were looking for their fifth Gold Cup trophy. They opened their campaign in the tournament with a pair of 3-0 wins over Mexico and Trinidad and Tobago to set up their meeting with Panama. The Panamanians, for their part, had just been beaten 5-1 by Mexico four days earlier.
Playing at Safeco Field in Seattle, Milbrett took charge of the game early, notching a hat-trick in the first ten minutes (3', 5', 9'). Shannon McMillan added a quick brace shortly afterward (11', 14'), then Milbrett scored twice more (23', 34'). Tiffany Roberts struck home in the 40th minute to push the margin to 8-0 by the break.
On cruise control in the second half, the US looked content to maintain their lead, but Abby Wambach scored in the 86th minute to set the final score at 9-0. The US eventually went on to win the final over Canada, 2-1.
Milbrett's five goals in a single game matched the record set by Brandi Chastain against Mexico in 1991 and reached by Michelle Akers against Chinese Taipei at the 1991 World Cup. Since then, Abby Wambach (2004), Amy Rodriguez (2012), and Sydney Leroux (2012) have equaled the tally, but nobody has exceeded it.
(AP photo by Jim Bryant)