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Frisco, TX., (3/12/20) – Washington Spirit midfielders Rose Lavelle and Andi Sullivan and the United States Women’s National Team finished undefeated in the 2020 SheBelives Cup to take home the title for the third time in five years.
A 3-1 win over Japan in the third game of the tournament wrapped up a perfect tournament for the USWNT on Wednesday night in Frisco Texas. The goal conceded to Japan was the only goal the USWNT conceded during the entire 2020 SheBelieves Cup run.
In the first game of the tournament, the USWNT beat England 2-0. Carli Lloyd and Christen Press were the goal scorers for the US and Alyssa Naeher picked up the shutout in goal. Lavelle played a solid 70 minutes in a game that marked the third anniversary of her first cap for the US.
The second game proved to be a bit more of a test on the offensive side of the ball for the Americans. It took until the 87th minute for Julie Ertz to head home a freekick from Press to lift the US over Spain. Lavelle went the full 90 in this one and in her usual fashion, made a number of crafty plays on the ball, springing attacks and creating space for her teammates.
All the US needed heading into the final game was a draw against Japan to clinch the trophy. They jumped out to a quick lead when Megan Rapinoe put a curling freekick from just outside the box into the top left corner to make it 1-0. Christen Press would double the lead before the half, but Japan would get one back in the second half to make it 2-1. Ultimately, the US defense stood firm, halting the Japanese comeback attempt to pick up the win. Lavelle saw the field in the 72nd minute as a sub.
Lavelle and Sullivan will now return to the Spirit for preseason training before rejoining USWNT coach Vlatko Andonovski for two friendlies in mid-April. The US will take on Australia on April 10 in Sandy, Utah before traveling to San Jose, California to take on Brazil.
Following the two friendlies, the NWSL will open up the eighth season on April 18. The Washington Spirit will host OL Reign at Audi Field as the NWSL’s inaugural game on CBS.