An unenviable hat trick

In football it is highly embarrassing, to put it mildly, when a player accidentally puts the ball into their own goal. Such ‘own goals’ are rare but they do happen.

So imagine how a player must feel when they score three own goals in a single international game. This happened to New Zealand defender Meikayla Moore in a game against the US.

Moore’s nightmare started early when she tried to stop a cross from Sophia Smith but instead redirected the ball into her own net. A minute later, Catarina Macario’s header was going wide until it glanced off Moore’s head. Her unenviable hat-trick was completed after Margaret Purce’s cross from the right wing. Moore stuck out her foot to clear the ball, but again it went horribly wrong. She was substituted four minutes later.

I found the commentator’s use of a very extended ‘g-o-o-o-o-o-o-o-a-l!’ highly irritating. He did not do it when she scored the third goal. I hope it was out of sensitivity for her, so as not to be seen as exulting in what was, after all, a mistake and not an achievement to be proud of.

Wikipedia has an origin story for the term ‘hat trick’, a term that originated in cricket but has spread nto many sports and even non-sports.

A hat-trick or hat trick is the achievement of a generally positive feat three times in a match, or another achievement based on the number three.

The term first appeared in 1858 in cricket, to describe H. H. Stephenson taking three wickets with three consecutive deliveries. Fans held a collection for Stephenson, and presented him with a hat bought with the proceeds. The term was used in print for the first time in 1865 in the Chelmsford Chronicle. The term was eventually adopted by many other sports including hockey, association football (soccer), Formula 1 racing, rugby, and water polo.


  1. DrVanNostrand says

    He probably couldn’t yell “gooooollll!!!!” after the third one because he knocked himself out facepalming so hard.

  2. Rob Grigjanis says

    I really feel for Moore. From the footage, there wasn’t much she could do about any of the goals. But she must feel absolutely devastated. And in the age of internet, twitter and facebook, the multitudes posting “hur hur, an own goal hat trick” just adds to her pain. I hope she’s OK.

  3. efogoto says

    @2 I could not agree more. I remember watching Des Walker score an own goal in the 1991 FA Cup Final. I felt terrible for him then, I feel terrible for Moore today. I also hope she’s OK.

  4. Mark Dowd says

    Hopefully NZ sports fans aren’t as toxic as US ones and everyone can just laugh it off as “shit happens”.

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