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By Owen Krucoff
Harrison, Nj. (5/27/19) – Washington Spirit players Rose Lavelle and Mallory Pugh continued to contribute to the U.S. Women’s National Team’s World Cup preparations in a 3-0 “Send-off Series” win over Mexico on Sunday in Harrison, New Jersey.
Midfielder Lavelle earned a spot in the starting lineup and played the first 45 minutes. She placed two long-range shots on goal in the eighth and 28th minutes, but both were saved by Mexico goalkeeper Cecilia Santiago.
U.S. head coach Jill Ellis made several substitutions at halftime, including Lavelle being replaced by Lindsey Horan and Pugh coming on for Crystal Dunn.
For the first half and much of the second, the U.S. dominated possession but struggled to convert chances in the final third. The Americans held a slim 1-0 lead until the 76th minute, when Carli Lloyd received the ball on the left side of the penalty area and was able to shake her defender to get free near the endline and center the ball towards Pugh, who was able to poke the ball over the line near the left post for the 16th goal of her career and fourth goal of 2019.
This was the second straight USWNT game to include a goal scored by a Spirit player, after Lavelle scored on May 17 in a 5-0 win over South Africa.
Sunday’s game was the last warm-up exhibition for the Americans before the beginning of the 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup. The team will travel to London this week for continued training before kicking off Group F on June 11 at 3 p.m. EDT against Thailand.