Ashley Hatch scored 24 seconds into the match. (Jamie Rhodes-USA TODAY Sports)

SYDNEY – Forward Ashley Hatch scored just 24 seconds into the match with her first international goal, midfielder Rose Lavelle scored early in the second half and Lindsey Horan converted a penalty kick to propel the U.S. women’s national team past Australia. 3-0, in the its penultimate match of the year.

Goalkeeper Casey Murphy made an impressive international debut, becoming just the seventh goalkeeper to record a clean sheet in her first cap while making eight saves. Several of the saves were spectacular.

A record crowd of 36,109 turned out to Stadium Australia, site of the 2023 Women’s World Cup final, marking the largest crowd ever to watch the Matildas on home soil.

The teams will meet again at McDonald Jones Stadium in Newcastle Tuesday (4:05 a.m. ET on ESPN).

Hatch’s goal was the third-fastest in team history and kicked off a wide-open match that featured the USWNT’s youngest starting line-up since April 2018 and the first time since April of 2013 that all U.S. starters were under the age of 30.

Hatch, the 2021 Golden Boot winner in the National Women’s Soccer League for the champion Washington Spirit, made her third appearace and first since 2018.

The Americans held strong against Australia, which pushed hard for an equalizer in the latter stages of the first half before the visitors extended their lead in the second half.

Murphy, 35, endured a flurry of chances from the Matildas at the end of the first half before Lavelle’s 18th career goal gave the U.S. a cushion in the 49th minute. Horan earned the penalty kick and then converted the 68th-minute spot kick to put the game on ice.

U.S. head coach Vlatko Andonovski made five late substitutes down the stretch, giving forwards Bethany Balcer and Morgan Weaver and midfielder Ashley Sanchez their international debuts while inserting veteran Becky Sauerbrunn to solidify the back line. The four debuts in the match were the most for the USWNT since October 2016 against Switzerland.

After Hatch’s score, Lavelle nearly doubled the lead early with two attempts, first stripping an Australia center back deep in the attacking half in the fifth minute before ripping her shot just wide. She also threatened with another shot in the ninth minute.

Defender Emily Sonnett hit a close-range effort just wide of the right post in the 22nd minute after defender Emily Fox sent a nice ball into the box down the left side and forward Lynn WIlliams played it across the goal.

After conceding early, the Matildas grew into the game as the half wore on. Murphy made severeal saves just after the half-hour mark, including tipping a long-range effort from Ballon d’Or nominee Sam Kerr over the bar. Australia’s most menacing chance of the half came in the 38th minute when Caitlin Foord danced along the end line and drove towards goal before dishing to Kyah Simon, but the forward skied her chance over the bar from point-blank range.

The Matildas kept the pressure on until the halftime whistle, forcing Murphy into further action. In the 45th minute, a slashing run gave Kerr a dangerous look behind the U.S. defense, but Murphy made a kick save with her left foot. In the aftermath of a free kick seconds later, Foord had time to line up a shot from just inside the 18 but Murphy tipped her attempt straight up and over the crossbar.

Halftime substitute Sofia Huerta helped spark the second goal. Winning a header in midfield, she played to a hard-charging Margaret Purce on the right wing. Purce beat her defender to the end line and cut it back for Lavelle just outside the six-yard box. Lavelle’s stuffed her shot under goalkeeper Teagan Micah for her fifth goal of 2021, a career best.

Murphy made a few more saves, and Horan, serving as the USWNT’s captain for the second time, put the game out of reach midway through the second half. After she was fouled by Australia’s Ellie Carpenter, Horan finished her penalty try for her 25th international goal making her the 24th player in USWNT history to reach that mark.