By Joe Laurich, Staff Writer
The USA Women’s National Soccer Team (USWNT) played an international friendly at TQL Stadium in Cincinnati on Tuesday night, beating Paraguay 8-0 in a blowout.
The star for the U.S. was Cincinnati native Rose Lavelle, who kicked off the scoring in the fourth minute, heading in a cross from Casey Krueger. Lavelle also contributed three assists, one of which came in the sixth minute when Lavelle connected with Sophia Smith on a through-ball near the top of the box and Smith scored her first international goal in her first career international start. The 21-year-old is the youngest member of USWNT.
Alex Morgan also had a huge night for USWNT, scoring a hat trick. Her first goal came in the eighth minute on a header off a cross from Lavelle before scoring again in the 14th minute. In the 15th minute, Lavelle tallied her third assist of the game when she found Catarina Macario near the top of the penalty box for Macario’s first goal of the year.
USWNT would take that 5-0 lead into the half, and despite Head Coach Vlatko Andonovski using all of his allowed subs in the second half, his team still found the back of the net three times.
In the 53rd minute, they scored another goal, this one from Morgan on a feed from Smith. The goal completed Morgan’s fifth career hat trick and was also her 114th international goal. Playing in her third-to-last match as a member of USWNT, Carli Lloyd continued her hot streak, netting her eighth goal in her last three games in the 78th minute. In the 82nd minute, Macario scored with a volley for her second goal of the game to cap off an impressive 8-0 win for USWNT in front of 22,515 fans.
The win extended USWNT’s unbeaten home streak to 60 matches and home winning streak to 22 matches, one short of the longest streak in USWNT history. They’ll look to tie that streak on Oct. 21 when they play their penultimate fall friendly match against Korea Republic at Children’s Mercy Park in Kansas City.
They can beat it in their final fall friendly, a rematch with Korea Republic on Oct. 26 at Allianz Field in St. Paul, Minn.