In New Zealand, the U.S. Women's National Soccer Team kicked off their World Cup run with a resounding 3-0 victory over Vietnam.
The U.S. squad is determined to secure another World Cup title, and newcomer Sophia Smith made sure the team started off with a bang when she scored the team’s first goal during the match on Saturday. She scored twice in the opening half.
Smith, 22, is playing in her first World Cup, but she has made a name for herself already. Last year, she was named U.S. Soccer’s Player of the Year after leading the national team with 11 goals and later named the National Women’s Soccer League MVP for scoring 14 goals and helping the Portland Thorns to the league title.
Lindsey Horan's goal secured the win for the favored American team, which has an impressive record of four World Cup victories overall.
Victories that couldn’t have been reached without 38-year-old Megan Rapinoe, who made her 200th international appearance against Vietnam.
Earlier this month, Rapinoe announced this Women’s World Cup would be her fourth and final appearance in the tournament, and while she did not start in Saturday's match due to an injury, she came in as a substitute in the 63rd minute.
The team’s challenge awaits as they prepare to face the Netherlands on Wednesday.
Additional reporting by The Associated Press.
Trending stories at Scrippsnews.com