The U.S. Women's National Soccer Team defeated New Zealand 5-0 in front of 30,596 fans in Cincinnati Tuesday night. U.S. Soccer reports that's the largest crowd ever in Ohio to attend a Women's National Team match.
Lindsey Horan opened the scoring for the U.S. with a goal in the 36th minute, shortly after entering the game for Cincinnati-native Rose Lavelle in the 33rd minute.
Mallory Pugh added a second just before halftime. Forward Alex Morgan made it 3-nil 30 seconds into the second half before scoring a second time in the 69th. Lynn Williams also scored (55th).
Lavelle, a Mount Notre Dame graduate, started the match and played 33 minutes, much to the delight of around 230 friends and family filling nearly an entire section of seats.
She's been recovering from a hamstring injury suffered in June. Lavelle received the loudest ovation of the evening when she was announced in the starting lineup. Just before kick-off fans unveiled a giant banner painted to resemble Rosie the Riveter wearing a USA jersey with Lavelle's number and holding a rose.
"It's amazing for her to go out and play in front of this many people in her hometown," Head Coach Jill Ellis said after the match. "Rose would probably admit herself that she's a little bit rusty, but that's natural and to be expected. Overall, I'm just happy for her to come through it and now she leaves here with some confidence to continue to build in her recovery.
Lavelle did indeed describe her performance as "rusty," adding "and out of shape, but that will come with more games, training more, and getting some more touches on the ball."
Fun Facts From U.S. Soccer
- 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. Louis) as well as five Victory Tour games. Additionally, tonight's crowd was the 23rd largest WNT home crowd of all-time.