You've got to hand it to Carli Lloyd—she knows how to go out in style.
The star forward, who will be retiring following the 2021 National Women's Soccer League regular season, scored a whopping five goals in the United States 9-0 friendly win over Paraguay on Thursday night.
U.S. Soccer WNT @USWNT
Goal No. 1️⃣3️⃣0️⃣!<a href="https://twitter.com/CarliLloyd?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@CarliLloyd</a> is now tied with the queen of caps herself -- <a href="https://twitter.com/KristineLilly?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@KristineLilly</a> -- for 3rd on the <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/USWNT?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#USWNT</a> all-time scoring charts 💥⚽️ <a href="https://t.co/G53hquCpjt">pic.twitter.com/G53hquCpjt</a>
U.S. Soccer WNT @USWNT
How lucky are we that after SEVENTEEN YEARS of <a href="https://twitter.com/CarliLloyd?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@CarliLloyd</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/USWNT?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#USWNT</a> magic, she still keeps coming up with history?! 🐐 <br><br>Goal No. 🖐 of the night for <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/CL10?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#CL10</a> <a href="https://t.co/3T1qjJONT5">pic.twitter.com/3T1qjJONT5</a>
Four of her goals came in the first half alone.
It was Lloyd's first five-goal international game, tying her with nine other players for the most in USWNT history. Her 133 international goals moved her to third place in the country's history behind only Abby Wambach (184) and Mia Hamm (158), while her ninth hat trick surpassed Hamm as the most in USWNT history.
Andi Sullivan (brace), Lynn Williams and Tobin Heath added goals for the USWNT, who played in their first game since only winning bronze at the Tokyo Olympics. That was a disappointing showing, and Paraguay found themselves in the unenviable position of bearing the brunt of any lingering frustrations the Americans were harboring.
As for Lloyd, she'll be participating with the USWNT over their next three friendlies before calling it quits on her international career.
"Just trying to savor these last couple of months and enjoy every bit of it," she said earlier this week on the Attacking Third podcast (h/t Sandra Herrera of CBS Sports). "I think that I do become emotional, and more emotional every time I step out into the field, because I know I'm getting closer and closer to that end. So I can imagine playing with the national teams, the next four games, I'm going to be pretty emotional so we'll see what happens."
Given Lloyd's illustrious career—spanning two World Cup titles, two Olympic gold medals and two FIFA Player of the Year Awards—it was no surprise that what happened was a barrage of goals.
Caitlin Murray @caitlinmurr
Carli Lloyd always said she was going to step away when she wanted and no one was gonna push her out. Good to see her score in the Olympics and again tonight in one of her final <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/USWNT?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#USWNT</a> games, banging in goals to the very end.
But Lloyd's fantastic performance wasn't isolated. The USWNT came out absolutely buzzing in this game, smothering Paraguay with their relentless pressing and lightning-fast attacks. This game was all but over six minutes in, when Lloyd had already notched a brace.
The final stats were about what you'd expect. The U.S. held 76 percent of possession, outshot Paraguay 32-1 and held a 15-0 advantage in corners. Mallory Pugh had three assists. Williams had two.
From Paraguay's perspective, it was a friendly only in name. For Lloyd, it was the perfect way to start a farewell tour.