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Rose Lavelle sits down to talk about life after the Women’s World Cup.
Cincinnati Enquirer

A new era in United States women’s national team soccer commenced successfully in Columbus Thursday night with new head coach Vlatko Andonovski in charge of the team for the first time. 

Cincinnati United Premier and and Mount Notre Dame product Rose Lavelle was an active participant in the historic success.

Lavelle started for the U.S. women in an international friendly against world-ranked No. 5 Sweden on Thursday at Mapfre Stadium, where the Americans hung on to win, 3-2.

Goalkeeper Alyssa Naeher made one save to preserve the lead before an announced sellout crowd.

The U.S. flooded Sweden’s goal with scores in the first half as Carli Lloyd tallied twice and Christen Press netted on a solo effort 31 minutes into the match.

Lloyed opened the scoring off a feed from Press in the sixth minute, and then Press added a goal of her own in the 28th minute.

The second of Lloyd’s goals came just three minutes later. It was a sumptuous chip that will likely earn a spot on her career highlight reel.

The first half held no further offense.

At the outset of the second half, Lavelle grew into the game. 

Lavelle made decisive runs and passes, and fired one shot at the near post that was swatted away by the Swedish goalkeeper. 

Lavelle’s shift ended around the 61st minute mark as she gave way to Samantha Mewis having left her mark on the proceedings. 

Only Anna Anvegard could beat Naeher on the night. She scored twice in the space of three minutes to make things nervy for the Americans.

Just three minutes after her 75th minute opener, a miscommunication and resulting turnover gave Anvegard an easy opportunity to pass the ball in for 3-2 after Naeher was caught out of the net. 

The game still held another twist, too.

Lloyd had an opportunity to ice the match when, in the 81st minute, she stepped up to take a penalty kick that would have completed her hat-trick.

Lloyd, however, skied her kick well over the bar to set up a furious finish.

In the end, the Americans were able to settle themselves and see out the final minutes or regulation and stoppage time to win.

The victory gave Andonovski, successor to the beloved, two-time FIFA Women’s World Cup winning coach Jill Ellis, his first win in charge of the Americans.

Ellis was the winningest women’s national team manager in the program’s history, and expectations for the four-time World Cup winning team won’t lag in her absence.