The United States Women’s National Team concluded their January camp in New Zealand on a high note. Yesterday, they defeated the Football Ferns, 5-0, in famed Eden Park, New Zealand’s national venue.
The stadium will serve as the host site for the USA’s first and third group stage games at the 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup this summer. Nearly 13,000 fans attended yesterday’s friendly.
Five different members of head coach Vlatko Andonovski’s side scored, including Mallory Swanson and Taylor Kornieck. Rose Lavelle scored twice and Ashley Hatch also found the back of the net. The Lady Yanks scored a total of nine goals.
Lavelle was please with the team’s effort and assertive play, saying ”when we come out strong and we play like that, I think it’s going to be harder to keep up.”
She continued “when I think of what we did in 2019, a lot of it was we had a strong start and we would score really early. I definitely think that will be an emphasis for us.”
Andonovski’s team will now return home, rest, recover and regroup in mid-February when they will host the 2023 SheBelieves Cup.
Japan, Brazil and Canada will face-off with Team USA in three different host cities- Orlando, Nashville and Frisco, Texas.
Swanson’s goal came minutes into the second half. She was adrift in the middle of the 18-yard box when a crossing pass by Emily Fox into the box ricocheted straight out off of the shine guard of a Fern’ defender to the Real Colorado Soccer Club grad.
Swanson unleashed a point blank shot on the wide open frame. The attacking winger predominately played on the right side of the pitch. She played well, by both making runs into the box and connecting her mates with passes.
Swanson was was also nominated as player of match.
According to the U.S. Soccer’s media guide, Swanson’s goal marked her 28th career goal and third of 2023 and gives her goals in three consecutive games.
The three-game scoring streak is the second longest of Swanson’s international career. She has really come into form in the past few months.
With 28 career goals, Swanson broke a tie with U.S. Soccer Hall of Famers Joy Fawcett and Shannon Boxx to take sole possession of 22nd on the USA’s all-time scoring charts.
Kornieck, the six foot plus attacker has been a frequent target in Andonovski’s set play schemes.
The University of Colorado alumni came up tall in the 79th minute of play. Kornieck’s teammate, Rose Lavelle delivered a made-for-the-highlight-reel corner kick into the box. Her loafing long range missile found the rising Kornieck. She promptly headed the ball into goal. It was her second international goal since she made her debut with the senior team at DICK’S Sporting Goods Park last summer.
And full highlights:
After the match, Lavelle spoke about the camp and overall experience, saying “I think this was an amazing test run for us to be able to see what to expect when we come back in six months.” The player of the game added “the atmosphere was fun, being able to face an away crowd and see how we handle that. I’m excited for what’s to come.”
The Yanks will be tested during the upcoming SheBelieves Cup contest.
Canada is the reigning Summer Olympic gold medal winner. Japan the 2011 champion. Brazil is a recent World Cup second place finisher. With these high potential teams on deck, the USWNT fandom has plenty to look forward.