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VANCOUVER, British Columbia (AP) - Team USA sits atop the women's soccer world after the Americans' third World Cup crown, but first since 1999.
In an offensive explosion rarely seen in soccer, the Americans scored four goals in the opening 16 minutes -- three on a hat trick by Carli Lloyd -- and routed Japan 5-2 for the Women's World Cup crown. That avenged a loss in the 2011 final when Japan won on penalty kicks. It was the highest-scoring final in Women's World Cup history.
"We just made history," Lloyd said moments after the win. "I was on a mission."
When it was over, Lloyd collapsed to her knees and pumped her fists. Forward Abby Wambach (WAHM'-bahk) bear-hugged teary-eyed coach Jill Ellis, lifting her off the ground.
Lloyd scored the two fastest goals in Women's World Cup history, scoring twice in the first six minutes of the match. Lauren Holiday gave the U.S. a 3-0 lead when she volleyed a shot into the goal. Lloyd finished her hat trick by catching Japan goalkeeper Ayumi Kaihori off her line and scoring from midfield as the U.S. took a stunningly quick 4-0 lead. It the fastest hat trick in Women's World Cup history. Tobin Heath added a second half goal after Japan had climbed within two goals.
With Vice President Joe Biden and wife Jill in attendance, the Americans attacked with ferocity and then played smart on defense. U.S. goalie Hope Solo had her streak of 540 shutout minutes end when Japan scored midway through the first half, but Japan never seriously threatened.
The U.S. has had great success against teams from Japan with a record of 25-1-6.