By Mason Cavalier
Boyds, Md. – Washington Spirit midfielder Rose Lavelle netted the game-winning goal in the second minute of play as the U.S. Women’s National Team captured the 2018 Concacaf Women’s Championship title on Wednesday night, defeating Canada 2-0.
Three Spirit players competed in the Concacaf title match, as Lavelle and forward Mallory Pugh represented the U.S. against Spirit defender/midfielder Rebecca Quinn and the Canadian National Team. The U.S. protected a narrow 1-0 most of the way, adding an insurance goal in the 89th minute, and captured their sixth regional championship on a rainy night at Toyota Stadium in Frisco, Texas.
Lavelle put the U.S. ahead early in the first half when she found herself with space at the top of the box, and bent a left-footed shot into the bottom right corner. It was Lavelle’s third goal in of the tournament, and her sixth goal for the U.S. in 18 appearances. Lavelle’s strike would be the only goal in the first half, despite the teams combining for eight shots.
— U.S. Soccer WNT (@ussoccer_wnt) October 18, 2018
Pugh made her 41st appearance for the U.S. WNT after being subbed on during second half stoppage time.
Quinn took on a midfield role for Canada during the final, working hard to create chances for her teammates up-field. Quinn was able to convert 85% of her passes, 28 passes total. Quinn was also utilized on set pieces, as she nearly converted an open header after a corner-kick in the 12th minute, only for it to be re-directed by a U.S. defender.
Lavelle and Quinn both made the starting line-ups for their respective national teams. Both teams were strong favorites to make the finals, as coming into the matchup the two teams had scored 48 goals and conceded just one over the course of the tournament. Both Lavelle and Quinn had scored twice coming into the matchup.
The final was tightly-contested throughout, and the U.S. – Canada rivalry rook center-stage as the teams both took hard-nosed approaches to the game. Both teams combined for 27 fouls, resulting in five yellow cards. The U.S. found more opportunities in the attacking third however, outshooting Canada 12-3, and holding onto 57% of the possession. Both teams have qualified for the 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup in France.
2’ – Rose Lavelle – USA
89’ – Alex Morgan – USA