The United States Women’s team were back in Ohio for the first time in a year as the team made its inaugural appearance at Nippert Stadium in Cincinnati, OH.
The Lady Yanks were set for their second match in five days, facing New Zealand. The two teams previously met last Friday in Commerce City, Colorado where the United States won by a score of 3-1.
The U.S. began the match searching for an early advantage. Defender Kelley O’Hara almost put the Yanks on the board when she let go of a strike from 25 yards out that narrowly missed the top of the net.
The Kiwis couldn’t muster much of an attack, spending little time in the attacking third. U.S. defenders Abby Dahlkemper and Becky Sauerbrunn provided prefect protection for goalkeeper Alyssa Naeher and midfielders Julie Ertz and Samantha Mewis absolutely locked down the center of the park.
The United States finally broke through in the 36th minute when substitute Lindsey Horan headed in Samantha Mewis’ cross that caught the Kiwis’ goalkeeper Erin Nayler off her line to the U.S. an early 1-0 lead.
Just eight minutes later, 19-year-old Mallory Pugh scored a goal with Horan claiming an assist on the play. Pugh’s goal is just her second with the USWNT in 2017, but set the tone for the United States as the team headed for the locker room for intermission.
The second half began with a bang for the Red, White & Blue as Alex Morgan found the back of the net just 30 seconds into the half.
Morgan wasn’t done there. In the 55th minute, she helped fellow substitute Lynn Williams find the scoresheet and the U.S. advantage increased to 4-0.
New Zealand amped up the physicality as the match progressed with a couple of hard fouls against Julie Ertz and Mallory Pugh. The United States would remain composed and continue to press.
It became apparent the United States’ pace would become the difference in this match as the Red, White & Blue unlocked the Kiwis and continued to generate scoring opportunities.
Morgan gathered the fifth goal for the U.S. in the 69th minute, hitting the ball with a little English and kissed the underside of the cross bar to continue the dominance.
Midfielder Tobin Heath checked in to the match in 72nd minute to get some much-needed game minutes in her attempt to come back from injury. The Portland Thorns’ midfielder will be needed as her club continues to make a push for the playoffs in the National Women’s Soccer League.
The United States maintained the advantage and cruised to victory 5-0.
You can next see the National Team in action against the Korea Republic in the Mercedes Benz Superdome in New Orleans on Oct. 19