Morgan hat-trick leads U.S. women in rout over Ireland

Thu Nov 29, 2012 12:56am EST

(Reuters) - Alex Morgan's first-half hat-trick proved she has not lost her scoring touch as the United States women's soccer team blanked Ireland 5-0 in an international friendly on Wednesday.

Morgan, who netted a game-winning Olympic semi-final goal last summer when the U.S. took gold, showed little rust as she wowed the crowd in Portland, Oregon.

"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," Morgan told reporters.

"I just wanted to keep taking shots and they kept going my way."

Sydney Leroux completed the rout by scoring twice in the second half to give a perfect start to new coach Tom Sermanni's tenure.

(Writing by Jahmal Corner in Los Angeles; editing by Amlan Chakraborty)