Despite the best efforts of Stanford women's soccer players Teresa Noyola and Alina Garciamendez, the Mexican national team suffered a disappointing 4-0 setback to Japan in its second match of the Women's World Cup in Germany on Friday.
Stanford grad Ali Riley and her New Zealand teammates were a bit more competitive but still lost, 2-1, to England and were eliminated from further contention.
The United States continued its preparations for a match against Colombia in Sinsheim on Saturday at 9 a.m. (PT), to be aired on ESPN, Galavision and ESPN3.com.
New Zealand and Mexico play each other Tuesday, while Japan clinched a spot in the quarterfinals with England remaining to play. The English have the goal differential advantage over Mexico, should the teams tie for second.
Japan's Homare Sawa recorded the tournament's first hat trick against Mexico, scoring twice in the first half and adding her third goal with nine minutes left in the match.
"This has come as a big surprise because I never imagined scoring a hat trick," Sawa said. "My teammates helped me a lot, though, and a lot of the credit should go to them."
Mexico has taken 19 shots, five on goal, in the two matches.
"Letting those two early goals in knocked us off our stride and stopped us from playing the game we wanted to play," Mexico coach Leonardo Cuellar said. "Japan is also a very technical and skilful side and they had us chasing after the ball a lot. We have an awful lot to do now to pick ourselves up mentally and physically because this is a very painful defeat for us."
New Zealand has also found it difficult to create scoring opportunities. The Kiwis have 14 shots, five on goal.
Sarah Gregorius scored a goal to give the Kiwis the lead in the 18th minute, an advantage that held through halftime. Jill Scott scored the equalizer for England in the 63rrd minute and Jessica Clarke recorded the game winner in the 81st minute.
"It was a truly great performance by the girls, and I'm very proud of them," New Zealand coach John Herdman said. "We held our own against one of the powerhouses of the game for an hour. That isn't the end of our tournament, because we still have a game against Mexico. It's about pride, and about New Zealand picking up their first three points at a World Cup."
The Americans' match against Colombia is sold out, the first contest not involving host Germany to record a sellout. The Rhein-Neckar-Arena holds just over 25,000 fans.
"I heard that it's a sold-out crowd and I'm not sure how many supporters we'll have," U.S. forward Alex Morgan said. "I know that the troops will hopefully be able to come. We like high energy and as long as the crowd is sold out, it doesn't matter who they're rooting for as long as there's some noise."
With a start against Colombia, Hope Solo will tie Mary Harvey for second most games ever played by a U.S. goalkeeper in a Women's World Cup. Lauren Cheney and Stanford grad Rachel Buehler become the 21st and 22nd players respectively to score in a Women's World Cup for the USA. Buehler become the fifth defender to score, following Joy Fawcett, Carla Overbeck, Brandi Chastain and Cat Whitehill.
"It's so important to have many players playing minutes," U.S. coach Pia Sundhage said. "I truly believe that if we play many games, it is important to use the whole bench."
The U.S is playing its third country from South America in Colombia. The Americans and Brazil have met 27 times and the U.S. and Argentina have played twice.