Midfielder Rose Lavelle was not one of the six U.S. national team players in the starting lineup for Thursday’s friendly against Sweden that also started when the two teams last met at the Olympic Games Rio 2016.
Starting in her fifth consecutive game with the senior national team, however, Lavelle’s 65th-minute goal lifted the U.S. past Sweden for a 1-0 victory in Gothenburg, Sweden. The first overall pick in the 2017 National Women’s Soccer League College Draft by the Boston Breakers now has two goals and one assist in just five caps.
Sweden finished with 14 shots, four on goal, as U.S. goalkeeper Alyssa Naeher earned her ninth career shutout. It was her 14th appearance and 12th start with the senior national team.
It was a small bit of payback for the Americans after Sweden ended their Olympic run last summer in a shocking quarterfinal ouster. Coming on the heels of three consecutive Olympic gold medals and the 2015 World Cup title, the U.S. lost on penalties to Sweden. Sweden went on to take the silver medal after losing to Germany in the gold-medal match. It was the first time the Americans did not play for the gold medal since the sport was first included at the Atlanta Games in 1996.
The U.S. is now 21-6-11 all-time against Sweden.