JACKSONVILLE – With the return of the USA Womens National Team to Jacksonville on Thursday, area players and coaches flocked to TIAA Bank Field, the latest name of the home to the Jacksonville …
JACKSONVILLE – With the return of the USA Womens National Team to Jacksonville on Thursday, area players and coaches flocked to TIAA Bank Field, the latest name of the home to the Jacksonville Jaguars, to catch a glimpse of American Olympians and world champions in action.
“Its awesome,” said Fleming Island High student Alia Skinner, who was stationed behind one of the goals as a ball chaser representing the Clay County Soccer Club. “We just catch and throw the ball back to the goalie or a referee. We had to have two hours of training to do it they way they want us to. It’s pretty cool.”
On the field, Morgan Brian, a Georgia high school standout, a University of Virginia standout and a former Florida SOL FC player out of Clay County, was a starting midfield defender.
With a first half score of just 1-0 on a goal from Mallory Pugh and the game seesawing with swing attacks from superstar Alex Morgan, the American team went into the locker rooms unsure of the outcome until about three minutes into the second half.
From there, the USA team, with 20 shots for the night and nine on goal, rocked the Mexico defense for three goals in a three minute span led by two from Alex Morgan; one a penalty kick, and a fourth from Carli Lloyd, her 99th career goal. The goal fest started just six minutes into the second half as fans exploded with the flurry.
“It’s exciting to see this level of play,” said Skinner, a goalie. “Its a goal and a dream to be out here one day.”
Lloyd, the highest active goal scorer in U.S. history, had her 251st game with the U.S.A. team and finished just one goal from her 100th goal which would make her only the sixth player to do so.
The American team is now 4-0-1 for 2018 and 10-0-2 dating back to mid-2017. The Americans have scored three or more goals in eight of the past 12 games.