Ranking all 18 of the USWNT's record-setting group stage goals

So the United States women’s national team scored A LOT of goals during the Women’s World Cup group stage. Eighteen, to be exact, for a stupefying average of six per game, a number supercharged by the record-smashing 13-0 win over poor Thailand in their opener, followed by a 3-0 victory over Chile and a 2-0 result against Sweden. The American women broke the record for group stage goals. And they did it without conceding a single one.

And since we like goals over here on Yahoo’s soccer desk, we decided to rank them from 18 to 1. Not based on anything scientific, but on how cool we thought they were.

Here goes …

Ranking the USWNT's record-setting 18 group stage goals
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Ranking the USWNT's record-setting 18 group stage goals

18. Own-goal/Tobin Heath, 2-0, Sweden

Heath did one of her trademark saucy things, dragging the ball past her defender with a stutter-step. She then whipped in a cross and it deflected into goal. Because the shot apparently wasn’t on target originally, the defender got the dubious credit for the own-goal. And while it was a nice goal, we have to keep up our standards here.

17. Samantha Mewis, 6-0, Thailand

Rose Lavelle’s shot in the box was blocked but fell kindly for Mewis, who dinked the ball into the net with a bouncing finish.

16. Alex Morgan, 1-0, Thailand

Morgan was left entirely unmarked at the far post on the chipped cross from Kelley O’Hara and she didn’t have much work to do to nod it in.

15. Lindsey Horan, 3-0, Thailand

Heath drove in the low free kick and after a scramble, Horan smacked the loose ball into the roof of the goal. So yeah.

14. Alex Morgan, 5-0, Thailand

Once again entirely unmarked at the far post, Morgan got onto the end of a Heath free kick the defense simply couldn’t deal with. It wasn’t quite a tap-in, as Morgan still needed to beat the goalkeeper. But it wasn’t the hardest goal of her career either.

13. Lindsey Horan, 1-0, Sweden

Horan emerged from a busy crowd on the low corner kick and beat everybody to it for a simple tap-in.

12. Megan Rapinoe, 9-0, Thailand

Christen Press sent in a low cross behind the defense. It was out of Morgan’s reach but rolled on to Rapinoe, who swept it into the net with a tidy finish.

11. Carli Lloyd, 3-0, Chile

Lloyd rushed through traffic on a corner and somehow found herself unmarked. She scored with a solid header into the ground for her second of the day.

10. Carli Lloyd, 13-0, Thailand

Faced with the goalkeeper, Lloyd let the ball roll in front her until it was teed it up just so and then scored on a dainty dink with the outside of her foot for the finesse finish.

9. Samantha Mewis, 4-0, Thailand

Rapinoe found Mewis with a low pass on the edge of the box. Mewis spun and, without hesitation, tagged a shot at goal. It took a slight deflection on its way, but made for a nice goal regardless.

8. Mallory Pugh, 11-0, Thailand

Morgan teed Pugh up to round the goalkeeper and roll the ball into the empty net. The beauty was in the assist more than the goal, but an empty-net strike remains an accomplishment.

7. Rose Lavelle, 7-0, Thailand

This one was an excellent team goal, above all. Crystal Dunn slid a through ball in for Mewis, who cut it back. It rolled behind Morgan but right in the path of Lavelle, who finished cleanly.

6. Rose Lavelle, 2-0, Thailand

Morgan settled the long ball for Lavelle, who ran at the defense and had Rapinoe wide open to her left. But the young playmaker looked off Rapinoe and ripped a shot at the near post from distance, surprising and beating the goalkeeper.

5. Alex Morgan, 10-0, Thailand

Rapinoe almost lost her balance but stayed upright and beat two defenders to get the ball to Morgan. She took a touch and quickly took advantage of her pocket of space to deposit her finish well out of the goalkeeper’s reach.

4. Julie Ertz, 2-0, Chile

From a corner, Ertz beat her marker to the low, whipped ball and somehow redirected it behind her with her forehead for a splendid finish.

3. Alex Morgan, 8-0, Thailand

Morgan received the ball from Press in the box, turned two defenders inside-out and ripped a perfect finish with her off-foot.

2. Alex Morgan, 12-0, Thailand

Morgan beat a defender by flipping the ball over her and then lashed her half-volley so hard that it went through the goalkeeper’s arms.

1. Carli Lloyd, 1-0, Chile

Should the veteran forward have probably left this bouncing ball to the onrushing Ertz? Yes. Do we mind that she hooked a left-footed volley anyway? No. Because her rip into the far upper 90 was superb.


Leander Schaerlaeckens is a Yahoo Sports soccer columnist and a sports communication lecturer at Marist College. Follow him on Twitter @LeanderAlphabet.

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