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OCT 27
3:30 PM ET
ESPN
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Ertz scores twice, Huerta debuts as USWNT tops New Zealand 3-1
Huerta earned her first USWNT assist in the game
Sofia Huerta and Alex Morgan connected on the  third goal of the game for the United States women's national team on Friday night. (Photo credit: Brad Smith/isiphotos.com)
Sofia Huerta and Alex Morgan connected on the third goal of the game for the United States women's national team on Friday night. (Photo credit: Brad Smith/isiphotos.com)

It was a pretty good night in Colorado for the Chicago Red Stars as the U.S. women’s national team beat New Zealand 3-1. Julie Ertz bagged a brace in the first half. Sofia Huerta made her first appearance as a member of the USWNT and earned her first assist in the second half.

 

Huerta entered as a sub in the 51st minute, just a day after her change of national association request was granted by FIFA. She previously played for Mexico at the  U-20 National Team level.

Huerta’s assist came on Orlando Pride forward Alex Morgan’s 75th international goal and the final goal of the game. Huerta, playing at right back for the USWNT, sent a cross from the right wing to Morgan in the box on the left. The reigning NWSL Player of the Month cut around her defender and hit a left-footed shot to the near post to give the U.S. a 3-1 lead.

 

Ertz scored twice in a span of eight minutes in the first half. Her first goal in the 16th minute put the U.S. up 1-0 and came off a corner kick that was eventually headed in Ertz’s direction by Portland Thorns FC midfielder Lindsey Horan. Ertz flicked it into the back of the net for her tenth career goal and Horan’s tenth career assist.

Ertz’s second goal came in the 24th minute after a 15 pass sequence by the United States culminated with a Megan Rapinoe (Seattle Reign FC) header that went off the post. Ertz was in the right spot for the rebound, and hammered it home to put the U.S. up 2-0.

 

Three NWSL players were in the starting XI for New Zealand: Rosie White (Boston Breakers), Katie Bowen (FC Kansas City) and Rebekah Stott (Seattle Reign FC).

New Zealand forward Hannah Wilkinson, who had scored the last three goals for New Zealand vs. the U.S. coming into the game, scored in the second half to pull New Zealand within a goal before Morgan reclaimed the two goal lead.

 

Sky Blue FC defender Kelley O’Hara wore the captain’s armband in her 100th international appearance. She captained the game alongside her Stanford teammate Ali Riley, who is New Zealand’s captain.

Colorado natives Horan and Mallory Pugh (Washington Spirit) both started in front of their home fans on Friday night.

 

The United States and New Zealand will meet again in Boston Breakers midfielder Rose Lavelle’s hometown of Cincinnati on Tuesday night.

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