alex morgan brace recap vs New Zealand

Alex Morgan Nets Brace As The USWNT Tops New Zealand

The U.S. Women’s National Team defeated New Zealand 5-0 with a dominant performance on Tuesday night in front of an electric crowd of 30,596 as Alex Morgan, Lindsey Horan, Mallory Pugh and Lynn Williams scored at Nippert Stadium. 

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 Lindsey 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)

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September 11, 2020: Major League Soccer has announced the 2020 regular season schedule through the end of September. From September 18-27, each MLS club will compete in three regular season matches. Additional 2020 MLS regular season matches will be announced pending further developments regarding travel protocols. Attendance at matches will be determined in accordance with applicable state and local guidelines.