NEWCASTLE, Australia (Nov. 30, 2021) – The U.S. Women’s National Team concluded its 2021 schedule with a 1-1 draw against Australia in front of 20,459 fans at McDonald Jones Stadium. Forward Ashley Hatch scored in just the 4th minute and a strong performance from a young USA squad enabled the USA to finish the trip Australia with a win and a draw.
The U.S. opened the scoring after a brilliant pass from forward Lynn Williams found teammate Margaret Purce, who ran the ball down near the end line to the right of the goal. She then calmly laid off a pass back toward the heart of the penalty box to meet Hatch’s run for a one-time finish and another early lead.
The goal marked Hatch’s second career tally and second in as many matches. The 2021 NWSL Golden Boot winner scored the third-fastest goal in USWNT history when she notched her first international goal to open the scoring just 24 seconds into the team’s 3-0 victory over the Matildas on Nov. 27.
On the other end of the pitch, with center backs Alana Cook and Tierna Davidson once again partnering well together, and outside backs Emily Fox and Sofia Huerta earning their eighth and ninth caps respectively, the USWNT played a stellar defensive game, frustrating the Australian attack and limiting the hosts to just one shot on target in the first half. That came in the 20th minute via a powerful volley that was struck from the top of the box by Mary Fowler and skidded off the turf before U.S. goalkeeper Casey Murphy pushed it off the right post with a fully extended dive. Australia would not get another shot on goal until their equalizer in the 88th minute.
The U.S. posed a threat in the attack the entire match, outshooting the Matildas 16-8 and tallying seven shots on target. The match saw dangerous chances from midfielders Lindsey Horan and Rose Lavelle as well as Williams and Purce and the Americans should have added another goal or two. The USA had far more possession than in the match in Sydney and finished the game with 64 percent of their duels won.
Despite being denied time and time again by some staunch U.S. defense, the hosts found their break in the dying moments of the match as forward Sam Kerr settled the ball at the top of the box and found forward Kyah Simon with a short pass. Simon fired a shot and found a favorable deflection off a U.S. defender that skipped past a wrong-footed Murphy into the right side of the net to level the score. The United States continued to press for the remainder of the match and almost found the game-winning goal in the second minute of stoppage time as Horan put the ball in the net on a sliding volley, but she was correctly ruled offside.
The USA concludes 2021 with a 17-2-5 record following an impressive year scheduling by U.S. Soccer as the USWNT played 24 matches over four different continents (North America, Europe, Asia and Australia) despite the ongoing global pandemic.
GOAL SCORING RUNDOWN:
USA – Ashley Hatch (Margaret Purce), 4th minute: The USA won the ball in midfield which allowed Lynn Williams to race up the left side on a break and she played a pass behind the Australia back line that Purce ran down near the end line on the right side of the net. She squared up on her defender and laid off a pass into the heart of the box to meet Hatch’s run for a one-time finish to open the scoring. USA 1, AUS 0
AUS – Kyah Simon (Sam Kerr), 88th minute: Kerr received with her back to goal at the top of the U.S. penalty box and did well to bring the ball down with her chest before touching a pass back to Simon. Her hard shot took an wicked deflection off a USWNT defender and past wrong-footed U.S. goalkeeper Casey Murphy and into the right side of the net. USA 1, AUS 1
- With the draw, head coach Vlatko Andonovski is 28-2-5 in 35 games (two at the end of 2019, nine in 2020 and 24 in 2021)
- Ten players have now earned their first cap under Andonovski with Imani Dorsey joining Nov. 27 debutants Casey Murphy, Morgan Weaver, Ashley Sanchez and Bethany Balcer during the trip to Australia. Alana Cook, Margaret Purce, Sophia Smith, Jaelin Howell and Catarina Macario have also earned their first caps under Andonovski.
- Margaret “Midge” Purce made recorded her second career assist in her fifth career start and ninth cap overall. Purce registered her first career assist on Nov. 27, setting up Lavelle’s 49th minute goal against the Matildas.
- The average age of the Starting XI was 26.1 years and was the second consecutive starting lineup deployed by the USA without a player over the age of 30.
- Lindsey Horan captained the USA once again as she earned her 108th career cap.
- Casey Murphy made second consecutive start for the USWNT in goal, recording one save in what was also her second career cap.
- Defender Becky Sauerbrunn earned her 199th cap and could hit 200 at the 2021 SheBelieves Cup, which will be the USA next international matches.
-U.S. WOMEN’S NATIONAL TEAM MATCH REPORT-
Match: United States Women’s National Team vs. Australia
Date: Nov. 30, 2021
Competition: International Friendly
Venue: McDonald Jones Stadium; Newcastle, Australia
Kickoff: 8:05 p.m. local (4:05 p.m. ET/Nov. 30, 2021)
Weather: 68 degrees, Humid
Scoring Summary: 1 2 F
USA 1 0 1
AUS 0 1 1
USA -- Ashley Hatch (Margaret Purce) 4th minute
AUS -- Kyah Simon (Sam Kerr) 88
USA: 18-Casey Murphy; 3-Sofia Huerta (14-Emily Sonnett, 86), 5-Alana Cook, 12-Tierna Davidson, 23-Emily Fox (19-Imani Dorsey, 77); 17-Andi Sullivan (4-Becky Sauerbrunn, 86), 16-Rose Lavelle, 10-Lindsey Horan (Capt.); 11-Margaret Purce (22-Kristie Mewis, 70), 7-Ashley Hatch (13-Morgan Weaver, 70), 6-Lynn Williams (8-Ashley Sanchez, 81)
Substitutes not used: 1-Jane Campbell
Head coach: Vlatko Andonovski
AUS: 1-Lydia Williams; 21-Ellie Carpenter, 3-Courtney Nevin, 7-Steph Catley; 16-Hayley Raso (15-Emily Gielnik, 71), 10-Emily Van Egmond, 19-Kyra Cooney Cross (14-Alanna Kennedy, 71), 13-Tameka Yallop (6-Clare Wheeler, 86); 17-Kyah Simon, 20-Sam Kerr (Capt.), 11-Mary Fowler
Substitutes not used: 12-Teagan Micah, 18-Mackenzie Arnold, 2-Angela Beard, 5-Karly Roestbakken, 8-Charlotte Grant, 22-Bryleeh Henry, 23-Remy Siemsen, 24-Jessika Nash, 25-Charlize Rule
Head coach: Tony Gustavsson
Stats Summary: USA / AUS
Shots: 16 / 8
Shots on Goal: 7 / 2
Saves: 1 / 6
Corner Kicks: 3 / 6
Fouls: 5 / 9
Offside: 3 / 1
USA -- Lindsey Horan (Caution) 81st minute
Referee: Seijin Park (KOR)
Assistant Referee 1: Renae Coghill (AUS)
Assistant Referee 2: Laura Moya (AUS)
4th Official: Hyeon Jeong Oh (KOR)
Budweiser Woman of the Match: Emily Fox