The United States Women’s National Team had a hole to dig out of after game one of the group stage, and they did just that, dismantling New Zealand 6-1. The win puts the United States up into second place in the group, with three points, trailing only the Swedish team that shocked them in the opener. The big win over New Zealand also erases the goal differential deficit that the Americans faced after that 3-0 loss. The 5 goal win for the Americans pushed their goal differential back to +2 and also marked their largest margin of victory and most goals scored in an Olympic game.
The team got off to a quick start, dominating play in the early going, resulting in the first goal of the game courtesy of midfielder Rose Lavelle. That was quickly followed up by four goals by the Americans all of which were disallowed on offside penalties. The Americans extended the lead to 2-0 when Lindsey Horan (who was celebrating becoming the 41st player in USWNT history to reach the 100 caps mark) slotted one home off a header from Julie Ertz.
The pressure mounted on the Kiwis until a ball played in glanced off the head of defender Abby Erceg and into her own goal. That was one of two own goals that the US forced, with the other one coming late, putting the finishing touches on the match as right back CJ Bott under pressure passed the ball into a wide-open net. In between the own goals the team added two more goals: one from Christen Press thanks to a beautiful pass down the right side from Julie Ertz and another from Alex Morgan off an assist from Press. The Ferns would get on the score sheet in the 75th minute when an awful touch by defender Abby Dalhkemper in her own half sent midfielder Paige Satchell through on goal where midfielder Betsy Hassett cleaned it up.
Ahead of this game USWNT head coach Vlatko Andovski made multiple changes to the starting 11 including taking Alex Morgan, Christen Press, Sam Mewis, Becky Sauerbrunn and Kelley O’Hara out of the lineup in favor of Carli Lloyd, Megan Rapinoe, Julie Ertz, Tierna Davidson and Emily Sonnett.
The Americans will look to get out of the group on Tuesday at 4:00 am ET when they face Sam Kerr and the Australians at Kashima Stadium in Kashima, Japan.