U.S. Women's National Soccer Team Defeats New Zealand for Team's First Win at Tokyo Olympics
Megan Rapinoe, Alex Morgan and the USWNT scored their first victory in Tokyo.
On Saturday, the women, who did not attend the opening ceremony the night before, defeated New Zealand 6-1 at Saitama Stadium, bouncing back from their opening-game loss against Sweden. Early in the game, midfielder Rose Lavelle got her first Olympic goal and later, Lindsey Horan doubled the lead with a header.
At halftime, the U.S. led 2-0.
The team continued to extend their lead in the second half, with additional goals coming from Morgan and Christen Press.
Though an audience was not permitted due to COVID protocols, the team had a cheerleader in First Lady Jill Biden, who was made the rounds on Saturday as she attended several different sports events including swimming and women's 3x3 basketball.
Next, the USWNT will close out group play on July 27 against Australia.
The U.S. team lost their first match of the Games, falling to Sweden — the team that previously knocked the Americans out of medal contention at the last Summer Games — during their Tokyo Olympics Group G match on Wednesday.
"Hopefully the team will feel a little bit more relaxed," Rapinoe told reporters after the loss. "You play tight, you lose — so [we] should probably switch it up. I think just be more ourselves."
Ahead of the game, U.S. team captain Becky Sauerbrunn told the press, "What happened in 2016 is one of the worst results that the senior national team has had in a major tournament."
"From playing in that game, I know how disappointed we all were and for me, it has lit a fire going into 2019 [World Cup] and also here. It seems kind of rich that we get to play them first game of this Olympics. I'm really excited about that."
To learn more about Team USA, visit TeamUSA.org. Watch the Tokyo Olympics now on NBC.