SD Wave’s Alex Morgan scores, Abby Dahlkemper starts in USWNT 5-0 win over Dominican Republic

Credit: USWNT

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Credit: USWNT

This Tuesday, February 20, the USWNT began its campaign in the 2024 CONCACAF W Gold Cup with a 5-0 win against the Dominican Republic at Dignity Health Sports Park in Carson, Calif. The USWNT were the heavy favorites heading into the match, but completely had a field day, dominating the Caribbean side.

Twila Kilgore made some interesting decisions in the starting 11, most notably benching Naomi Girma and starting Abby Dahlkemper. The Girma-Sauerbrunn  centre-back parnership had been consistent for a while, so it was a bit surprising to see a change in the backline.

Other key players like Alex Morgan, Rose Lavelle, Lindsey Horan, and Trinity Rodman were also on the bench to begin this match. Some very young players like Korbin Albert, Jenna Nighswonger, and Olivia Moultrie received an opportunity to start this match.

Olivia Moultrie opened the scoring in Carson, Calif. just eight minutes into the match when she scored via a tap-in in front of net off a cross by Midge Purce. It was a fantastic play by Purce on the wing to be able to provide the assist on the opening goal of the match.

Midge Purce provided her second assist of the match in the 30th minute when she linked up with Gotham FC teammate Lynn Williams. The second goal of the match was very similar to the first with Midge Purce again just dominating the wing play on the right flank. The first half ended 2-0 in what seemed like a very conservative scoreline, considering how well the USWNT was playing.

In the 59th minute, Purce and Moultrie linked up yet again as a strong direct pass by Purce from outside of the box found Moultrie inside of the penalty area to make it 3-0. Moultrie made history in this match, becoming the 33rd teenager to score for the USWNT and also became the third-youngest player to score multiple goals in a match.

Jaedyn Shaw and Alex Morgan came on for the USWNT in the 67th minute and were both able to be productive for the U.S. Shaw earned the USWNT a penalty in the 86th minute, then Jenna Nighswonger went on to take the penalty and earn her first-ever international goal.

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Trinity Rodman earned a penalty in compensation time, and Alex Morgan went on to take the penalty perfectly for her 122nd goal with the USWNT. USWNT coach Twila Kilgore commented on calling up Morgan ton replace Mia Fishel, “Alex (Morgan) is a total pro. I knew she stayed ready for the challenge. She was naturally the next person to call in and ready for the challenge.”

The game finished 5-0 in what was a very dominant performance by the United States, with 31 total shots in the game to Dominican Repulic’s one. The defense was not tested very much, which meant that Abby Dahlkemeper did not receive much action, but she was flawless when needed in the match.

The USWNT will play Argentina as their next opponent in this W Gold Cup on Friday, February 23, at Dignity Health Sports Park in Carson, Calif. The W Gold Cup games set to be at Snapdragon Stadium in San Diego will begin this Wednesday, February 21, with Panama playing Colombia and Brazil playing Puerto Rico at the Mission Valley fortress.

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