By Jill Hubley | Photograph by Jasmin Shah
It seems like fans of the U.S. women’s national team are always hearing about the team’s ability to score late goals. So with the Olympics currently under way, I decided to look at the team’s scoring patterns over the course of 90 minutes. The data goes back to the beginning of 2014, and you can isolate goals by player.
All PlayersMorgan BrianLori ChalupnyCrystal DunnWhitney EngenTobin HeathLauren HolidayLindsey HoranJulie JohnstonMeghan KlingenbergSydney LerouxCarli LloydAllie LongStephanie McCaffreySamantha MewisAlex MorganKelly O’HaraHeather O’ReillyChristen PressMallory PughMegan RapinoeAmy RodriquezAbby Wambach
- First Goal
- Second Goal
- Third Goal
- Fourth Goal
- Fifth + Goal
- Opponent Goal
- Penalty Kick
Visualizing the data of past matches exposes both the averages and outliers. Of the 208 goals the team has scored since January 1st, 2014, 97 were scored before 45 minutes had passed. That’s nearly half (46.6%), and seems to indicate that the USWNT scores pretty evenly across both halves.
A more detailed breakdown of time intervals, however, reveals a subtle trend: more goals are scored in the 50- to 60-minute range than any other.
Zooming in on particular games reveals outliers, such as last year’s World Cup final against Japan, in which Carli Lloyd scored a hat trick in sixteen minutes. Filtering by player shows additional variance from the norm. Whitney Engen’s three goals fall within a range of five minutes (58′ to 63′).
Play around with the data yourself and let us know in the comments if you find anything interesting.