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Sophia Smith’s brace propels USWNT past Colombia

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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.

Lavelle missed the opportunity to add a goal to her impressive performance as the Ohio native was denied from the penalty spot in the 70th minute. Arias was whistled for her second penalty of the night, this time hacking down Alex Morgan, was Lavelle was unable to add to the Americans advantage.

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.

Comments

  1. big steps forward for Smith, the same going backwards though for Pugh. Kornieck is a keeper and will make the team. The ceiling for her is a great as for any young woman I’ve seen this year; physical beast who moves like a cat out there, technically sound, and she scored already to settle in the emotions. We’ll see but I’m buying stock now. Sanchez the most impactful player on the field again for the USMNT, she has broken through and is firmly in the mix, a starter for me

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