The U.S. women’s national team’s preparation for World Cup Qualifying resumed on Saturday with Vlatko Andonovski watching as Sophia Smith stole the show in Colorado.
Smith’s first international brace helped the USWNT blank Colombia 3-0 at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park in the first of two friendlies between the two countries this June. It was the USWNT’s fifth victory in 2022 and its third over Colombia in the past two years.
Andonovski’s squad was left frustrated through the opening 45 minutes after being denied on three occasions by Colombia goalkeeper Catalina Perez. Rose Lavelle’s curling effort in the 31st minute was punched away by Perez before Lindsey Horan’s header was also denied by the veteran.
The USWNT was awarded a penalty kick just before halftime after Carolina Arias tripped Smith in the box, but Horan’s low effort was saved by Perez to keep the sides deadlocked at 0-0.
Ashley Sanchez struck the crossbar in the 50th minute as the USWNT continued to put on the pressure before Smith delivered the breakthrough goal. Lavelle’s through ball allowed Smith the opportunity to score from outside of the box past Perez.
The Lavelle-Smith connection was at it again in the 60th minute as Smith slotted home her second goal of the match and her fifth goal of 2022.
Taylor Kornieck added a third and final goal on the night, heading home Megan Rapinoe’s cross from a set-piece. The former University of Colorado celebrated a goal on her USWNT debut, capping off a strong second-half from the hosts.
The USWNT closes out a two-match June window on Tuesday in Utah against the Colombians.