The U.S. Women’s National Team defeated New Zealand 5-0 with a dominant performance in front of an electric crowd of 30,596 as Alex Morgan (2), Lindsey Horan, Mallory Pugh and Lynn Williams scored at Nipper Stadium in Cincinnati, Ohio.
The USA put together an excellent performance on both sides of the ball, controlling possession and piling up a 19-5 shot advantage. With the win, the USA sweeps the two-game series against the Oceania champions.
Morgan scored in her third consecutive game, upping her 2017 total to four goals. The brace marked her 18th career multi-goal game. Morgan’s goals both came in the second half and sandwiched a strike from fellow substitute Lynn Williams. Horan and Pugh had staked the USA to a 2-0 halftime lead before the second half fireworks.
Cincinnati native Rose Lavelle got the start, playing in front of her hometown crowd as a professional for the first time. Lavelle left the game in the 33rd minute as a precaution after recovering from a hamstring injury. She almost delighted the crowd with a chance less than a minute into the game, but cut her left-footed shot wide right.
U.S. head coach Jill Ellis made three changes to the starting lineup from the first game between the teams on Sept. 15 in Commerce City, Colo., as well as moving Kelley O’Hara from left back to right back. Christen Press got the nod at center forward, Lavelle played in a three-woman midfield before being replaced by Horan, and Casey Short started at left back.
The U.S. players will now return to their clubs to finish the NWSL season, while forward Crystal Dunn heads back to England to begin her season with Chelsea FC. Next for the USA will be two matches against the Korea Republic on Oct. 19 at the Superdome in New Orleans (7 p.m. CT on FS1) and on Oct. 22 at Sahlen’s Stadium at Wakemed Soccer Park in Cary, N.C. (2 p.m. ET on ESPN)
USA – Lindsey Horan (Samantha Mewis), 36th minute: A terrific lofted cross from Mewis came from just past midfield and fell to Horan who looped a long-distance header from 16 yards out over goalkeeper Erin Nayler, who was caught off her line, and into the back of the net. USA 1, NZL 0.
USA – Mallory Pugh (Lindsey Horan), 44th minute: After one of many nice buildups from the USA, Horan slipped a pass to Pugh who was streaking down the right side. Pugh sprinted into the penalty area and curled a right footed shot inside the near, right post for her second goal of 2017.USA 2, NZL 0.
USA – Alex Morgan, 46th minute: Morgan came on at halftime for Megan Rapinoe and wasted no time making an impact. Julie Ertz dropped a long ball over the defense on the left side and Mallory Pugh ran it down before playing a pass on the ground into the penalty box that was deflected by a New Zealand defender, but right into the path of Morgan. She found a bit of space and squeezed her shot between Nayler and the near, left post from close range just 28 seconds into the half. USA 3, NZL 0.
USA – Lynn Williams (Kelley O’Hara), 55th minute: KelleyO’Hara sent a cross from the left side into the middle of the box where a leaping Williams came from the opposite side, ran straight past New Zealand captain Ali Riley to head the ball to the back of the net and score her second goal of the year. USA 4, NZL 0.
USA – Alex Morgan (Mallory Pugh), 69th minute: It was another beautiful run from Pugh on the left wing to find Morgan in the corner inside the 18-yard box. Morgan received the ball with her right foot, bringing it down to set up an incredible first-time, left-footed strike thundering off the underside of the crossbar into the net for her second goal of the match. USA 5, NZL 0. FINAL.
- The crowd of 30,596 was the largest to ever attend a WNT match in the state of Ohio and was the seventh highest standalone WNT friendly crowd. The other six came in 2015 and included another match against New Zealand (April 4 in St. Lous) as well as five Victory Tour games. Additionally, tonight’s crowd was 23rd largest WNT home crowd all-time.
- Lindsey Horan scored her fourth career goal and earned her 11th assist for the WNT on Mallory Pugh’s goal. It was her first goal and second assist of 2017. She earned her 39th appearance for the WNT tonight and ninth this year.
- Mallory Pugh scored her second goal of 2017 and her sixth career goal. She made her 11th appearance of 2017 and eighth start.
- Alex Morgan scored 28 seconds into the second half and again in the 69th minute of the game for her third and fourth goals of 2017, getting on the scoreboard for the third consecutive game this year. She earned her 130th cap.
- Now with 77 goals, Morgan moves into sole possession of seventh place on the all-time scoring list for the WNT. Tonight was Morgan’s 18th multi-goal game of her career.
- Becky Sauerbrunn and Samantha Mewis both started their 12th consecutive game of the year and are the only two players to have started every match in 2017.
- Samantha Mewis earned her 30th cap. Mewis completed 70% of her passes in the opponents’ half, the third highest percentage for any player with at least 15 passes in the New Zealand half.
- Alyssa Naeher earned her 12th career shutout tonight in her 20th appearance for the USA and 18th start. It was her seventh consecutive start, which included all three games of the 2017 Tournament of Nations.
- Julie Ertz, who scored her second career brace on Sept. 15 in Colorado, started her second consecutive game as a defensive midfielder – a position she played while at Santa Clara, and is currently playing for the NWSL’s Chicago Red Stars. She earned her 53rd cap tonight and has three goals in 2017. She is the 54th American player to earn 50 or more caps.
- Kelley O’Hara, earned her 101th cap, after reaching the century mark on Sept. 15 in Colorado. She became the 36th woman in U.S. history to play 100 or more games for her country. She earned her first assist of 2017 tonight.
- Midfielder Tobin Heath returned to action for the USA for the first time since March 7, 2017. She came in the 72nd minute in place of Mallory Pugh to play the final 18 minutes of the game. Heath had been sidelined from both club and country since March due to a back injury.
- Casey Short made her 10th start of this year and 11th appearance. Before coming in as a sub in the Sept. 15 game against New Zealand, Short had started every game she had played in for the USA. Tonight, she played all 90 minutes in her 15th career cap.
- Abby Dahlkemper played all 90 minutes tonight and earned her ninth cap for the WNT in what was her sixth career start.
- Players that did not dress tonight were: Jane Campbell, Sofia Huerta, Allie Long and Crystal Dunn.
- Lynn Williams scored her third career goal, and second of 2017 tonight. She did not suit up on Sept. 15 but came on in the 46th minute to earn her 11th WNT cap. She hurt her ankle in the USA’s first training in Sweden in early June and could not play either match in Europe, then played sparingly in the Tournament of Nations.
– U.S. Women’s National Team Match Report –
Match: U.S. Women’s National Team vs. New Zealand
Date: Sept. 19, 2017
Competition: International Friendly
Venue: Nippert Stadium; Cincinnati, Ohio
Kickoff: 8 p.m. ET
Weather: 73 degrees; clear
Scoring Summary: 1 2 F
USA 2 3 5
NZL 0 0 0
USA – Lindsay Horan (Samantha Mewis) 36th minute
USA – Mallory Pugh (Lindsey Horan) 44
USA – Alex Morgan 46
USA – Lynn Williams (Kelley O’Hara) 55
USA – Alex Morgan (Mallory Pugh) 69
USA: 1-Alyssa Naeher; 14-Casey Short, 4-Becky Sauerbrunn (capt.) (22-Taylor Smith, 46), 7-Abby Dahlkemper, 5-Kelley O’Hara; 3-Samantha Mewis (6-Morgan Brian, 57), 8-Julie Ertz, 16-Rose Lavelle (9-Lindsey Horan, 33); 15-Megan Rapinoe (13-Alex Morgan, 46), 23-Christen Press (12-Lynn Williams, 46), 2-Mallory Pugh (17-Tobin Heath, 72)
Substitutes not used: 24-Ashlyn Harris
Head coach: Jill Ellis
NZL: 1-Erin Nayler; 7-Ali Riley (capt.), 5-Meikayla Moore, 6-Rebekah Stott, 2-Ria Percival (4-CJ Bott, 86); 11-Kirsty Yallop (16-Olivia Chance, 58), 14-Katie Bowen, 12-Betsy Hassett (22-Katie Rood, 90+3), 10-Annalie Longo (8-Daisy Cleverley, 80); 13-Rosie White (18-Aimee Phillips, 76), 17-Hannah Wilkinson (15-Martine Puketapu, 89)
Substitutes not used: 3-Anna Green, 20-Malia Steinmetz, 21-Anna Leat, 23-Victoria Esson, 25-Liz Anton, 26-Jane Barnett
Head coach: Tony Readings
Stats Summary: USA / NZL
Shots: 19 / 5
Shots on Goal: 9 / 0
Saves: 0 / 4
Corner Kicks: 9 / 4
Fouls: 2 / 10
Offside: 1 / 2
NZL – Hannah Wilkinson (caution) 35th minute
Referee: Christina Unkel (USA)
Assistant Referee 1: Felisha Mariscal (USA)
Assistant Referee 2: Amanda Ross (USA)
4th Official: Crystal Sobers (TRI)