After a below-average showing days earlier that resulted in a 1-1 draw with Canada in Vancouver, the U.S. WNT needed to raise their level of play, big time, in their final game of 2017. And they did just that.
The U.S. Women finished its 16-game 2017 schedule on a high note with a 3-1 win against Canada in front of a near sellout crowd of 17,960 at Avaya Stadium on Sunday night. They struck early and it came off a set piece.
The Americans opened the scoring in the 11th minute when Megan Rapinoe whipped in a corner kick from the left side to the near post, where Julie Ertz flicked a header into the net, marking her sixth goal of the year, all of which have come on set pieces. The U.S. dominated play for the rest of the half to take a 1-0 advantage into intermission.
Similar to Thursday’s match in Vancouver, Canada came out strong in the second half and tied the game 1-1 in the 50th minute. This time, however, the U.S. regained the lead when Alex Morgan scored her team-leading seventh goal of 2017 to put the WNT up 2-1. Morgan was making her 14th appearance this year, and all seven of her goals have come over a seven-game span at the end of the season.
Carli Lloyd cushioned the lead with her 98th international score in the 80th minute, just five minutes after replacing Samantha Mewis.
The U.S. WNT finished its 2017 campaign with a 12-3-1 record, including results in its past eight games (7-0-1). The USA will regroup early next year for its annual January training camp before embarking on a full slate of games – including FIFA Women’s World Cup Qualifying – in 2018.
Goal Scoring Rundown:
USA – Julie Ertz (Megan Rapinoe), 11th minute: Rapinoe’s well-struck corner kick from the left side was directed to the near post where the diving Ertz sent a low, skidding header past Stephanie Labbé for the USA’s first goal of the game and her sixth of 2017. USA 1, CAN 0.
CAN – Janine Beckie (Nichelle Prince), 50th minute: Prince made a nice run down the right side and evaded both Becky Sauerbrunn and Abby Dahlkemper, dribbling deep into penalty area, cutting a perfect cross on the ground to Beckie who slammed the ball into the net from the top of the six-yard box to equalize. USA 1, CAN 1.
USA – Alex Morgan (Christen Press), 56th minute: Press won a tackle from Jessie Fleming about 35 yards out in Canada’s defensive third and hit a low skidding pass through the penalty area that found Morgan, who had stayed just onside. She collected with her left foot and finished her one-on-one chance to the back post with her right for the second U.S. tally of the game. USA 2, CAN 1.
USA – Carli Lloyd (Alex Morgan), 80th minute: After a corner kick was cleared back to Megan Rapinoe, she re-served the ball into the middle and Alex Morgan, positioned at the top of the six-yard box, flicked it into the path of the on-rushing Lloyd who finished from close range for her 98th career goal. Lloyd entered the game just five minutes before scoring. USA 3, CAN 1. FINAL.
- The U.S. scored three or more goals in seven of its last eight games. It was the first time Canada has allowed three goals in a game since a 3-1 loss to Brazil on Dec. 20, 2015.
- Alex Morgan scored her team-leading seventh goal in her 14th appearance and seventh start of 2017. All seven of her goals came over the past seven games. In that span, the only game in which she did not score was on Oct. 22 against Korea Republic. With 80 goals in her career at 28 years old, Morgan is in sole possession of seventh place on the all-time scoring list for the WNT.
- Julie Ertz earned her 57th cap tonight. Ertz, who is playing as defensive midfielder, has excelled at the role. Tonight, she scored her sixth goal of 2017, all of which have come in her last eight games played. Ertz has 14 career goals for the WNT, all of which have originated on or from set pieces.
- U.S. co-captain Carli Lloyd, the all-time active caps leader with 246, scored her 98th international goal and is now two away from becoming the sixth player to score 100 or more goals for the USA, and the first since 2009 when Abby Wambach hit the century mark. Lloyd scored 36 international goals between the time she debuted six days before her 23rd birthday, and her 30th birthday. Since turning 30, she has scored 62 goals in just over five and a half years.
- Becky Sauerbrunn donned the captain’s arm band in her 16th start and appearance of the year. She and Samantha Mewis were the only two players this year to feature in every starting lineup. She played the most minutes of any player on the team in 2017 with 1,350.
- Alyssa Naeher earned her 23rd cap and is the ninth goalkeeper in U.S. history to earn 20 or more caps.
- Megan Rapinoe netted her fifth assist of 2017 – most on the team this year. She scored three goals this year and made her eighth start tonight in her 12th appearance. She has 34career goals, pulling her to within one goal of tying April Heinrichs and Sydney Leroux for 15th on the all-time goals list.
- Christen Press earned her 96th WNT cap tonight and her third assist of 2017. She has scored 44 career goals, most recently scoring on a brilliant strike from distance against Korea Republic on Oct. 22. Press is in 14th place on the all-time WNT goals list and averages just under a goal every two games (0.46 goals per game) and 0.82 goals per every 90 minutes she’s been on the field. It was her 16th appearance of the year, the third player on the roster to appear in every game besides Mewis and Sauerbrunn.
- U.S. WNT head coach Jill Ellis made four out of her available six subs tonight: Casey Short for Taylor Smith, Andi Sullivan for Julie Ertz, Carli Lloyd for Samantha Mewis and Lynn Williams for Christen Press.
- Not dressing for this match were: D Chioma Ubogagu, G Adrianna Franch, G Jane Campbell, D Sofia Huerta.
– U.S. Women’s National Team Match Report –
Match: U.S. Women’s National Team vs. Canada
Date: Nov. 12, 2017
Competition: International Friendly
Venue: Avaya Stadium; San Jose, Calif.
Kickoff: 6 p.m. PT
Weather: 64 degrees, clear
Scoring Summary: 1 2 F
USA 1 2 3
CAN 0 1 1
USA – Julie Ertz (Megan Rapinoe) 11th minute
CAN – Janine Beckie (Nichelle Prince) 50
USA – Alex Morgan (Christen Press) 56
USA – Carli Lloyd (Alex Morgan) 80
USA: 1-Alyssa Naeher; 22-Taylor Smith (14-Casey Short, 66), 4-Becky Sauerbrunn (capt.), 7-Abby Dahlkemper, 5-Kelley O’Hara; 8-Julie Ertz (6-Andi Sullivan, 75), 9-Lindsey Horan, 3-Samantha Mewis (10-Carli Lloyd, 75); 23-Christen Press (12-Lynn Williams, 82), 13-Alex Morgan, 15-Megan Rapinoe
Subs not used: 24-Ashlyn Harris; 16-Emily Sonnett, 20-Allie Long
Head coach: Jill Ellis
CAN: 1-Stephanie Labbe; 2-Allysha Chapman, 4-Shelina Zadorsky, 5-Rebecca Quinn; 11-Desiree Scott (24-Ariel Young, 71), 17-Jessie Fleming, 20-Maegan Kelly (22-Lindsay Agnew, 60); 6-Deanne Rose (15-Nichelle Prince, 31), 12-Christine Sinclair (9-Jordyn Huitema, 60), 16-Janine Beckie (23-Julia Grosso, 90), 19-Adriana Leon (14-Jayde Riviere, 71)
Subs not used: 18-Sabrina D’Angelo, 21-Kailen Sheridan
Head coach: John Herdman
Stats Summary: USA / CAN
Shots: 12 / 8
Shots on Goal: 6 / 2
Saves: 1 / 4
Corner Kicks: 10 / 2
Fouls: 12 / 12
Offside: 1 / 0
CAN – Jayde Riviere (caution) 79th minute
Referee: Karen Abt (USA)
Assistant Referee 1: Felisha Mariscal (USA)
Assistant Referee 2: Deleana Quan (USA)
4th Official: Christina Unkel (USA)