It was the Carli Lloyd Show in San Diego on Saturday as the U.S. women's national soccer team breezed through its friendly with Ireland, 5-0, behind Lloyd's first-half hat trick.
The United States used three goals in 28 minutes to put the match away. The scoring began in the sixth minute after a quick throw-in to Alex Morgan, who made a beautiful pass to Lloyd for the game's first goal.
Fox Soccer provided a clip of the easy give-and-go goal between the two American superstars:
The Houston Dash, the National Women's Soccer League team that Lloyd plays for, showed some love for their captain:
It took only 15 minutes before Lloyd tacked on her second goal of the match, but it came with a price. Lloyd took an inadvertent shot to the head as she headed in the goal and stayed down momentarily.
Christian Araos of Empire of Soccer came up with the best conspiracy theory of all time:
Ireland: Future home of Bill O'Reilly, Hurts Carli Lloyd. Worst country ever?— Christian Araos (@Christian_Araos) January 23, 2016
Waynesburg women's soccer coach and former Michigan State Spartans star Laura Heethuis also chimed in with her thoughts on Lloyd's play:
But, of course, Lloyd came back and put a stamp on her afternoon with another easy tap-in goal at the 28-minute mark. Fox Soccer provided a clip of the spectacular goal:
Hat trick hero! Carli Lloyd capitalizes on a poor giveaway and coolly slots past the keeper to bag her 3rd goal. https://t.co/DrhLWC6HXr— FOX Soccer (@FOXSoccer) January 23, 2016
All Lloyd does is record hat tricks. If you remember, Lloyd recorded a hat trick in last year's World Cup Final against Japan. If we're comparing those two, like ESPN's Julie Foudy jokingly did, Saturday's was the less impressive of the bunch:
U.S. Soccer intern Anne Brenneman summed up Lloyd's hat trick as simply as she could:
And the Dash, once again, stormed to support their superstar and made us momentarily forget if we were in 2016:
🚨🚨🚨 CARLI LLOYD HAT TRICK 🚨🚨🚨 2016 is a lot like 2015 #DashOn— Houston Dash (@HoustonDash) January 23, 2016
This was Lloyd's sixth career hat trick, per Fox Sports' Rob Stone, and it was all the U.S. needed. But wait—there's more. It was also a historic day for captain Alex Morgan, who became the 34th U.S. player to record 100 caps.
To go along with assisting on two of Lloyd's goals, Morgan capped off her day with her 57th career goal right before halftime. Fox Soccer shared a clip of the easy score that gave the United States a 4-0 lead:
Carli Lloyd's header redirects off the post and straight to Alex Morgan, who's there to pick up the scraps. WATCH: https://t.co/0W6RJS95n9— FOX Soccer (@FOXSoccer) January 23, 2016
ESPN's Paul Carr highlighted an elite list of players who have scored on the day of their 100th cap:
Players to score in their 100th #USWNT cap: Alex Morgan Rachel Buehler Abby Wambach Shannon MacMillan Tiffeny Milbrett— Paul Carr (@PCarrESPN) January 23, 2016
The U.S. women's national team congratulated Morgan:
More history was made in the 83rd minute, when 17-year-old Mallory Pugh scored her first career goal in her women's national team debut. She'll be attending UCLA in the fall, but Miriti Murungi of Soccer Gods says she's not allowed to pursue a degree in higher education:
Mallory Pugh can't go back to school now— Miriti Murungi (@NutmegRadio) January 24, 2016
The women's national team won't be back on the pitch until Feb. 10, when it begins CONCACAF Olympic qualifying play against Costa Rica at Toyota Stadium in Frisco, Texas.
If Lloyd and Morgan continue to play at this high level, the USWNT will be heading into Rio de Janeiro as the clear-cut favorites to bring the gold back to the States once again.