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What Is a Hat Trick in Soccer?

What a Hat Trick Means — and How 1 American Player Made History at the 2015 World Cup

VANCOUVER, BC - JULY 05:  Carli Lloyd #10 of the United States of America scores the team's second goal against Saki Kumagai #4, Azusa Iwashimizu #3 and goalkeeper Ayumi Kaihori #18 of Japan in the FIFA Women's World Cup Canada 2015 Final at BC Place Stadium on July 5, 2015 in Vancouver, Canada.  (Photo by Dennis Grombkowski/Getty Images)

When talking about sports, a hat trick happens when a player scores three times in one game — so, no, it has nothing to do with headgear or a sleight of hand. While the event can happen in a lot of sports (hockey, cricket, water polo, darts), the term is most commonly used in soccer. In fact, in the sport known as football in most parts of the world, there are even different kinds of hat tricks that can be performed. At this year's Women's World Cup, we'll most likely have several opportunities to see the feat achieved by the best soccer players around the globe — after all, at the 2015 World Cup we saw a historic hat trick performed by our very own Carli Lloyd (and don't even get us started about USA's opening game in 2019 against Thailand, where Alex Morgan almost got a double hat trick, scoring five goals).

So What Is a Hat Trick in Soccer?

In the most general sense, a hat trick refers to an individual player scoring three times in a single game. At the Women's World Cup, the most recent hat trick and the first to take place in a final game was achieved by US Women's National team player Carli Lloyd against Japan in Vancouver, Canada, in 2015.

What Is a Natural or Flawless Hat Trick?

One special version of a hat trick in soccer occurs when a player scores three consecutive times in a single game, without any other player on either team scoring between those goals. In that instance, the hat trick is referred to as a natural or flawless hat trick.

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What Is a Perfect or Golden Hat Trick?

Another type of hat trick specific to soccer is referred to as the perfect or golden hat trick. This is accomplished when a player scores three times in a single game, no matter whether others have scored in between those goals, by using each the left foot, right foot and head.

Will There Be Hat Tricks at the 2019 FIFA Women's World Cup?

There have only been 19 hat tricks scored in the seven installments of the Women's World Cup to date, and Lloyd's in 2015 was the fastest ever recorded, taking place in 13 minutes of play.

The 2019 FIFA Women's World Cup kicks off on June 7. Lloyd and the rest of the US Women's team will face their first opponent, Thailand, on June 11 at Auguste-Delaune Stadium in the city of Reims, France. That'll be our first opportunity to see Team USA take a chance at another historic hat trick.

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