October 19, 2016
Williams goal ignites rally as USWNT shuts out Swiss
SALT LAKE CITY -- NWSL leading scorer Lynn Williams scored 49 seconds into her international debut as the U.S. Women’s National Team took a 4-0 victory over Switzerland in a friendly match before a 14,336 crowd at Rio Tinto Stadium Wednesday night.
The U.S. improved to 20-0-2 this year, breaking the game open after a scoreless first half on goals by Tobin Heath and second-half substitutes Williams, Sam Mewis and Christen Press.
The U.S. threatened early, on a ninth-minute header over the bar by Lindsey Horan, a Horan shot saved by Gaëlle Thalmann two minutes later, and a 13th-minute shot wide by Morgan Brian. But the Swiss shut down the U.S. attack on the wings, stifling Heath on the right and Casey Short on the left.
Late in the half, an Emily Sonnet giveaway set up Germany-based forward Eseosa Aigbogun an open drive from the top of the penalty arc, Alyssa Naeher leaping to tip over the bar.
After halftime, Press and Williams, who helped the Western New York Flash win the NWSL title, combined with Crystal Dunn, Carli Lloyd and Heath to quickly change the U.S. attacking dynamic.
In the 46th minute, Williams capitalized on a scuffed back pass to go in alone on the right side of the penalty area, finishing to the far post for the fastest goal for a U.S. player making her debut and becoming the 20th USWNT player to score in her first game.
Four minutes later, Lloyd had a close-range shot saved. The U.S. upped the lead to 2-0 after a throw-in led to a Dunn shot being blocked. Dunn regained possession in the penalty arc and slipped a pass through for Heath, who advanced on the left and sent a shot inside the far post in the 61st minute.
Press scored in the 69th minute, finishing from the goal area off a centering pass from Kelly O’Hara, who replaced Lloyd in the 64th minute. In the 76th minute, the U.S. increased the advantage as Press found Sam Mewis for a header, her first touch of the game and fourth international goal.
Press improved her goal total to 36 in 77 appearances.
U.S. coach Jill Ellis signaled the start of a new cycle, calling in 11 uncapped players for this match and a rematch against Switzerland in Minneapolis Sunday. Short and midfielder Andi Sullivan earned their first caps as starters. Defender Abby Dahlkemper, a Flash teammate of Mewis and Williams, and BYU forward Ashley Hatch also made their international debuts.