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VANCOUVER, British Columbia – Carli Lloyd came up big again. Three times.
And with it came the Americans' elusive third Women's World Cup title.
Lloyd scored a hat trick as the U.S. burst to a four-goal lead in the first 16 minutes, and the Americans overwhelmed defending champion Japan 5-2 Sunday for their record third championship and first since 1999.
A sellout crowd that included U.S. Vice President Joe Biden roared in approval for Lloyd's hat trick, the first ever in a Women's World Cup final.
When it was over, Lloyd collapsed to her knees and pumped her fists. Forward Abby Wambach bear-hugged teary-eyed coach Jill Ellis, lifting her off the ground.