COLUMBUS, Ohio ( Associated Press) – Sophia Smith scored three goals as the US women’s national team beat Uzbekistan 9-1 on Saturday to extend the team’s unbeaten streak on American soil to 66 games.
Andy Sullivan, Mallory Pugh, Katrina Macario, Jailyne Howell, Ashley Hatch and Ashley Sanchez also scored for the United States in the lower.com field.
Aziza Norboeva scored for 48th-ranked Uzbekistan, the first goal the US scored on home soil since March 11, 2020, against Japan.
It was the first of two matches between the teams. The second is scheduled for Tuesday night in Chester, Pennsylvania.
A series of three headers, from Lindsay Horan to Alana Cook to Sullivan on goal, gave the United States an early lead in the 26th minute. Pugh scored a goal a few seconds later to take a 2-0 lead. It was his 22nd international goal.
Smith added a pair of goals before half to set up a 4-0 goal for the United States and Uzbekistan were simply overwhelmed.
Macario scored early in the second half and Smith added his third goal in the 56th minute. Smith is the 20th player to hit a hat-trick for America.
Howell added a goal for the Americans in the 64th, before Norboeva scored for Uzbekistan in the 70th to avoid a shutout. Hatch and Sanchez scored late.
The US team was originally supposed to play a team from Asia for the international break, but that team had to drop out. The coronavirus and World Cup qualifying made it difficult to find a new opponent.
Kelly O’Hara, the team’s most experienced player, making her 151st appearance, wore the captain’s armband.
Two legends, Becky Sorbrun and Megan Rapinoe, were dropped from the roster for two matches against Uzbekistan due to injuries. Julie Ertz recently announced that she was expecting her first child, and Crystal Dunn is pregnant as well.
Other veterans who were not with the team included Alex Morgan, Tobin Heath and Kristen Press as coach Wlatko Andonovsky continued to push for younger players in preparation for World Cup qualifying in July.
The American team’s unbeaten streak on American soil includes 59 wins and seven draws.
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