Alex Morgan scores hat trick in win over Ireland

The United States women’s soccer team cruised to a 5-0 victory against Ireland thanks to a hat trick by Alex Morgan.

“We’ve been waiting and itching to get out there on the field, I think (this) showed that we wanted to get out there and play. I just wanted to keep taking shots and they kept going my way. Abby and everyone just kept saying ‘Shoot! Shoot! It’s a slick surface!’ So I did. I was feeling it.” Morgan told a group of reporters after the game.

Morgan struck first in the 24th minute. It was her 25th goal this year, making her the third U.S. player to reach the mark in a season — Wambach had 31 in 2004 and Michelle Akers had 39 in 1991.

Morgan scored again in the 34th minute, when she had a clear path from just outside of the box in front of goalkeeper Emma Byrne. Morgan’s third, which was unassisted, came in the 44th minute.

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It was her second career hat trick. She also had one March 7 in a 4-0 victory over Sweden.

“Every time she touched the ball something dangerous happened,” Acting U.S. coach Jill Ellis said.

Sydney Leroux added two goals to help the top-ranked United States improve to 4-0-2 on its Fan Tribute Tour.

Hope Solo started in goal for the U.S. Earlier Wednesday, husband Jeremy Stevens was taken into custody in Hillsborough County, Fla., for an alleged parole violation.