One day later than scheduled, and in a different stadium than expected, the U.S. Women's U-20 National Team defeated Panama, 6-1, to earn the team's first win at the 2015 CONCACAF Under-20 Women's Championship and join Mexico at the top of Group B.
After bad weather caused the match to be moved to the Escuela Internacional Sanpedrana, the U.S. wasted no time getting on the score sheet. Kelcie Hedge opened her scoring account with an apparent cross-turned-shot from close to the far sideline just eight minutes in. The cross floated over the Panama keeper's outstretched arm and crept under the crossbar to give the U.S. the 1-0 lead. Not to be outdone, captain Mallory Pugh scored her second goal of the tournament just three minutes later with a cool finish inside the box to give the Yanks their second 2-0 lead of the tournament.
Jessie Scarpa had an amazing day, earning herself a hat trick and Pugh bagged a brace with a second goal in the 78th minute to see the U.S. finish with six goals on the day.
Disappointingly for the U.S., the team failed to keep a clean sheet for the second straight game, a late consolation goal from Panama meant that the U.S. has given up three goals in two games at the championship. In 2014, the team did not concede a single goal on its way to the title.
The win puts the U.S. on four points in Group B, tied for first with Mexico who took care of Haiti 5-0 in the day's earlier match-up. The Americans finish Group B play on Wednesday when they face Haiti (3 p.m. ET) back at the Escuela Internacional Sanpedrana.
The champion, runner-up and third place finisher at the tournament earn spots in the 2016 FIFA U-20 Women's World Cup, which will be held in Papua, New Guinea.