Alex Morgan scored the first of her two goals less than a minute after she entered the game. (Andy Mead/YJC Photo)
CINCINNATI – Second-half substitute Alex Morgan struck twice in the second half to help the U.S. women to a 5-0 triumph over New Zealand in an international friendly before a record crowd of 30,596 at Nippert Stadium Tuesday night.
Lindsey Horan and Mallory Pugh gave the Americans a 2-0 halftime lead, connecting in the 36th and 44th minutes.
Substitute Lynn Williams also found the back of the net against the Oceania champions.
The U.S. defeated New Zealand Sept. 15, 3-1.
The crowd was the largest to ever attend a WNT match in Ohio and was the seventh highest standalone WNT friendly crowd.
The U.S. controlled possession and piling up a 19-5 shot advantage.
Morgan scored in her third consecutive game in the 46th and 69th minutes, raising her 2017 goal total to four. The brace marked her 18th career multi-goal game. Morgan’s goals sandwiched a strike from fellow substitute Lynn Williams, who found the net in the 55th minute.
Cincinnati native Rose Lavelle got the start, playing in front of her hometown crowd as a professional for the first time. Lavelle left the game in the 33rd minute as a precaution after recovering from a hamstring injury. She almost delighted the crowd with a chance less than a minute into the game, but sent her left-footed shot wide right.
U.S. head coach Jill Ellis made three changes to the starting lineup from the first game between the teams in Commerce City, Colo., Sept. 15, as well as moving Kelley O’Hara from left back to right back. Christen Press got the nod at center forward, Lavelle played in a three-woman midfield before being replaced by Horan, and Casey Short started at left back.
The U.S. players will return to their clubs to finish the National Women’s Soccer League season, while forward Crystal Dunn heads back to England to begin her season with Chelsea FC.
The Americans next will take on Korea Republic on Oct. 19 at the Superdome in New Orleans Oct. 19 (8 p.m. ET, FS1) and at Sahlen’s Stadium at Wakemed Soccer Park in Cary, N.C. Oct. 22 (2 p.m. ET, ESPN)
USA – Lindsay Horan (Samantha Mewis) 36th minute
USA – Mallory Pugh (Lindsey Horan) 44
USA – Alex Morgan 46
USA – Lynn Williams (Kelley O’Hara) 55
USA – Alex Morgan (Mallory Pugh) 69
USA: 1-Alyssa Naeher; 14-Casey Short, 4-Becky Sauerbrunn (capt.) (22-Taylor Smith, 46), 7-Abby Dahlkemper, 5-Kelley O’Hara; 3-Samantha Mewis (6-Morgan Brian, 57), 8-Julie Ertz, 16-Rose Lavelle (9-Lindsey Horan, 33); 15-Megan Rapinoe (13-Alex Morgan, 46), 23-Christen Press (12-Lynn Williams, 46), 2-Mallory Pugh (17-Tobin Heath, 72)
Substitutes not used: 24-Ashlyn Harris
Head coach: Jill Ellis
NZL: 1-Erin Nayler; 7-Ali Riley (capt.), 5-Meikayla Moore, 6-Rebekah Stott, 2-Ria Percival (4-CJ Bott, 86); 11-Kirsty Yallop (16-Olivia Chance, 58), 14-Katie Bowen, 12-Betsy Hassett (22-Katie Rood, 90+3), 10-Annalie Longo (8-Daisy Cleverley, 80); 13-Rosie White (18-Aimee Phillips, 76), 17-Hannah Wilkinson (15-Martine Puketapu, 89)
Substitutes not used: 3-Anna Green, 20-Malia Steinmetz, 21-Anna Leat, 23-Victoria Esson, 25-Liz Anton, 26-Jane Barnett
Head coach: Tony Readings
Stats Summary: USA / NZL
Shots: 19 / 5
Shots on Goal: 9 / 0
Saves: 0 / 4
Corner Kicks: 9 / 4
Fouls: 2 / 10
Offside: 1 / 2
NZL – Hannah Wilkinson (caution) 35th minute
Referee: Christina Unkel (USA)
Assistant Referee 1: Felisha Mariscal (USA)
Assistant Referee 2: Amanda Ross (USA)
4th Official: Crystal Sobers (TRI)
Woman of the Match: Alex Morgan