USWNT Overwhelms Colombia in Connecticut

The relentless offense of the United States Women’s National Team overwhelmed Colombia on one side of the pitch, and Hope Solo kept the sheet clean on the other side of an international friendly victory.

In her 194th cap, Hope moved one step closer to a major milestone, posting shutout No. 98 for her career as the American women raced past their Colombian counterparts, 7-0, in Hartford, Conn.

No. 1 last faced this Colombian offense on June 22 during the Round of 16 of the World Cup in Canada. The USWNT needed two second-half goals to squeeze out a 2-0 win—and the disparity between the two results left Hope impressed by her team’s dominant effort.

“I have great respect for Colombia, I always have,” Hope said. “I’m a little bit surprised that the score was 7-0. I expected more from them. It was a pretty combative game in the World Cup, but tonight we looked pretty good.”

Hope Solo

The USWNT held a hefty 24-6 shot advantage, launching 14 shots on frame. Colombia sent just two of its six shots on target, and Hope erased both.

It took a little while for the Americans to break through. The Colombian defense and goalkeeper Catalina Perez thwarted several opportunities early on, but when the USWNT finally cracked the defense, the floodgates opened.

Crystal Dunn started the U.S. scoring barrage 27 minutes in off a brilliant setup by Carli Lloyd. The Americans were without Alex Morgan and Morgan Brian, who sat due to minor injuries. That opened the door for Allie Long to record her first international goal five minutes after Dunn’s tally.

Just one minute after that, 17-year-old Mallory Pugh found the back of the net off another setup by Lloyd. Then just six minutes later, Pugh repaid her veteran partner, dropping a dime to Lloyd for the fourth goal in a 12-minute span. With that, the U.S. took a four-nil lead into the break.

Colombia did its best to launch a counterattack early in the second half of play. The Colombian offense snuck in behind the American back line, where Catalina Usme set the table for Liecy Santos. But Hope made an aggressive play on the ball and snuffed out Colombia’s best attempt of the evening.

Just a few minutes later, Tobin Heath struck home a devastating volley off an assist from Dunn to make it a five-goal advantage. Not unlike the first half, Long didn’t hesitate to continue the American rally, scoring her second goal of the night to further pad the lead. Then in the 74th minute, Christen Press, who had relieved Pugh at halftime, punctuated the dominant victory with score No. 7.

The USWNT improved to 10-0 in 2016. Hope has yielded just one goal so far this year, which came in a 2-1 win over Germany on March 9. The Americans have been all business, outscoring opponents 39-1 in that span.

The USWNT will meet with this same Colombian side once again on April 10 in Chester, Pa. The Sunday afternoon tilt is set for a 2 p.m. ET start and will air on ESPN.

RELATED LINKS