USWNT vs New Zealand: First half news and notes
The United States Women's Soccer Team returned to Cincinnati for the first time since 2008, and they brought their guns with them.
Coach Ellis has made it clear that she wants this team to grow from these games, especially in what many call a transition year. Doing so, she started 19-year-old Mallory Pugh along with the hometown star Rose Lavelle, who is only 22. Ellis mixed them in with some veteran leadership in Christen Press and Megan Rapinoe solidifying the US attack.
The crowd of what looks like over 30,000+ was electric before the game and during the player announcements. They were even more energized when they heard Lavelle's name announced. This had to pump up the starting XI that featured three players with over 100 caps. Ellis has her team line up in a 4-3-3 to start the game with Alyssa Naeher getting her 20th cap at goal.
For the first half, as usual, the United States dominated play ending the first half up 2-0.
Rose Lavelle got the first shot off but drew it wide right. In the 14 minute, the fans erupted as a shot by Julie Ertz was put it in the back of the net, but it was called back for offsides which turned out to be an extremely controversial call. The goal would have been Ertz's third in her last two games. The US had five shots and three on goal in the first 18 minutes of this game, but they could not seem to finish.
In the 33', Jill Ellis subbed off Rose Lavelle, who has been dealing with a hamstring injury. In her place, No. 9 Lindsey Horan. Horan IMMEDIATELY makes her presence felt with the game's first goal in the 36' on a beautiful header.
Then just eight minutes later, youngster Mallory Pugh put it in the back of the net to put the United States up 2-0.There it is! 🇺🇸@Lindseyhoran11 heads home a beautiful @sammymewy delivery in the 36th! pic.twitter.com/me9Xts9A21— U.S. Soccer WNT (@ussoccer_wnt) September 20, 2017
This crowd and this game have been electric, and we will have more to come with quotes from the players following the match.One is good, two is better.@MalPugh finishes near post to double the #USWNT lead in the 44th! pic.twitter.com/ca21Vjv1bp— U.S. Soccer WNT (@ussoccer_wnt) September 20, 2017