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Boyds, MD (January 22, 2018) – Washington Spirit forward Mallory Pugh opened the year with a dynamic performance for the U.S. Women’s National Team on Sunday evening in San Diego, powering home a pair of second half goals to record the first brace of her international career in a 5-1 rout of 2017 Women’s EURO champion Denmark.
In addition to her two goals, Pugh also notched an assist on Alex Morgan’s 17th minute strike, contributing to three of the USA’s five scores as she earned her 30th career international cap. Her 12 career assists are the most before the age of 20 in U.S. history.
Meanwhile, two of the Spirit’s newest acquisitions – 2018 NWSL College Draft No. 1 overall pick Andi Sulilvan and former NC Courage defender Taylor Smith – each earned spots in Jill Ellis’ starting lineup as well, and had active roles throughout their time on the field. Sullivan played the first 70 minutes of action, helping the offense generate continuous scoring opportunities through the midfield. Smith played the first 54 minutes on the USA back line, which limited Denmark to just one shot on goal.
After the U.S. took a 2-1 lead into halftime, Pugh quickly pushed the game out of reach with a pair of unassisted strikes in the first 20 minutes of the second half. Her first goal came in the 47th minute, as she intercepted a pass and beat the defense with a run up the middle of the field, and finished with a powerful shot into the upper-right back netting.
In the 65th minute, Pugh completed her brace with another interception followed by an individual run through the center of the defense, and another well-placed shot. This time, Pugh picked off a goal kick from Danish goalkeeper Stina Petersen, quickly split two defenders and then finished with a strike into the lower right corner of the net.
The Spirit has announced two exhibition games which will be included in the club’s 2018 NWSL preseason schedule. Washington will return to Evergreen Sportsplex in Leesburg, Va. for the second straight year on Saturday’s March 10 for a friendly against 22-time women’s college champion University of North Carolina. [TICKETS]
On March 17, the Spirit will host the first ever NWSL match played in Richmond, Va. when they face the North Carolina Courage at the historic City Stadium. Tickets for the game in Richmond are on sale now at RichmondKickers.com. [TICKETS]
Washington Spirit 2018 Season Tickets are on sale now at Tickets.WashingtonSpirit.com.