USA women cap off special night for O'Hara with a victory

Kelley O'Hara (third from right) is honored in a pre-game ceremony. She became the 36th player in U.S. women's history and the third from Stanford to earn at least 100 caps. Photo tweeted by USA Soccer.

The U.S. women’s national soccer team defeated New Zealand, 3-1, with a first half brace from Julie Ertz and a late goal from Alex Morgan in front of a near capacity crowd of 17,301 at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park.

Stanford grad Kelley O’Hara, a veteran defender, captained the side in her 100th cap for her country. She's the third Stanford player with at least 100 caps.

Abby Dahlkemper
Sacred Heart Prep grad Abby Dahlkemper earned her eighth cap and fifth career start for the women's national team.

Cardinal grad Christen Press also played for the Americans

In a sign of the impact she would have on the game, Ertz had her first chance of the night in the 11th minute when her overhead volley flew just over the crossbar. Playing as a defensive midfielder, she went on to score in the 16th and 24th minutes to give the USA an early 2-0 lead.

In the 51st minute, defender Sofia Huerta earned her first cap for the United States when she was subbed into the match for Taylor Smith; she is the first player from the state of Idaho to earn a cap for the U.S. WNT.

Huerta became eligible to play for the U.S. Thursday after receiving word that FIFA had approved her change of national association after she had represented Mexico at the youth and senior levels.

New Zealand cut the lead in the 75th minute when Hannah Wilkinson, with an assist from Stanford grad Ali Riley, beat U.S. goalkeeper Alyssa Naeher to a ball in the box and headed home. Wilkinson has scored New Zealand’s last four goals for her country against the USA.

Four minutes later, Alex Morgan returned the two-goal lead for the USA, scoring her second goal of 2017 and her 75th career goal from a Huerta assist.

O'Hara, Press and Riley, who owns 109 caps with New Zealand, were all Stanford teammates, making the evening that much more special.

Stanford sophomore and SH Prep grad Tierna Davidson, who trained with the USA for four days in Colorado, left camp before the game and returned to play in her Sunday match for the Cardinal at Santa Clara.

Cardinal grad Jane Campbell is the U.S. back-up goalie.

Next, the USA will head to Cincinnati, Ohio, hometown of WNT midfielder Rose Lavelle, for its second match of the two-game series against New Zealand on Tuesday at 4:30 p.m. at Nippert Stadium, to be aired on Fox Sports 1.

— USA Soccer

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