No matter what the level, and no matter the stage, one constant in soccer is that scoring is fun.
Now imagine scoring twice in an international game for the first time while playing for your country in the stadium where you play professionally for your club. That’s really fun. Just ask Samantha Mewis.
“I give so much credit to my teammates for setting me up and always having my back,” Mewis said after scoring her first WNT career brace on Sunday, Oct. 22 in front of 9,727 fans at Sahlen’s Stadium at WakeMed Soccer Park, home of the NWSL’s North Carolina Courage. “I’m super grateful for every opportunity I get but today was just really rewarding and cool to play here, in front of my home fans and at our home stadium.”
While both her goals were terrific, the first one was a little extra special because it came off a corner kick served by the newly crowned 2017 NWSL Defender of the Year, Abby Dahlkemper, a long-time friend and teammate since their college days together at UCLA, and now a teammate on the National Team and on the Courage. They joke that they haven’t been able to get rid of each other for the past seven years.
“The service on the corner was perfect,” Mewis said. “I feel like I didn’t have to do anything because Abby’s ball was so good. It was so cool to have that Courage-to-Courage connection in there, so when that ball went in I ran straight to her.”
As for her second tally, Mewis said the goal was a product of training and preparation, and it’s always satisfying to see hard work come to fruition.
“The second goal came off a second ball, which we have been working on that all week, if you believe that,” she said. “It’s cool when something that the team has been working on and the coaching staff has been saying is important happens and works out for us. I give the coaching staff so much credit for continuing to have us work on things like that because it pays off.”
Fourteen games into 2017 with the National Team, and it’s clear that this has been a special cycle so far for Mewis, who along with Becky Sauerbrunn, is the only player to have started every match for the U.S. WNT this year while playing the second most minutes on the team.
Mewis and the USA will next wrap up the 2017 schedule in November with two more friendlies against familiar CONCACAF opponent Canada. The games are set for Nov. 9 (7 p.m. PT; ESPN2; UDN) at BC Place in Vancouver and Nov. 12 (6 p.m. PT; FS1) at Avaya Stadium in San Jose, Calif.