With its fifth win in as many matches, the U.S. women’s soccer team is on a roll as it heads closer to the Women’s World Cup.
Three-time Olympian Carli Lloyd scored twice as the U.S. beat New Zealand in St. Louis, 5-0, on Thursday. This is the second match in the Americans’ three-match Send-Off Series as the U.S. prepares for next month’s World Cup in France.
The two teams met at Busch Stadium, home of Major League Baseball’s St. Louis Cardinals. The match drew 35,761 fans, the third-largest crowd in U.S. history to watch a standalone women’s soccer match.
The match marked 2016 Olympian Ali Krieger’s 100th international cap, making her the 38th U.S. woman to reach that milestone.
Two-time Olympian Tobin Heath was the first to get the U.S. on the board in the 35th minute, scoring on a crossing pass from Megan Rapinoe, and just five minutes later Rose Lavelle made it 2-0.
That’s where the score stood at halftime, and then in the 61st minute Lloyd essentially put the game completely out of reach for New Zealand, making it 3-0. If there was any doubt, however, Lloyd added another goal in the 81st minute and Samantha Mewis made it 5-0 a minute later. Lloyd now has three goals in the first two matches of the three-match series.
Alyssa Naeher earned cap No. 45 and shutout No. 24 and Kelley O’Hara started her second straight game after playing in the team’s win over South Africa on May 12.
The Send-Off Series kicked off Sunday when the U.S. defeated South Africa 3-0 in Santa Clara, California. It wraps up on May 26 against Mexico at the Red Bull Arena in Harrison, New Jersey.