Julie Ertz made her presence felt early to lead the U.S. over New Zealand in Friday night's friendly.

By Molly Geary
September 15, 2017

Julie Ertz made her presence felt early during the U.S. women's national team's friendly against New Zealand on Friday night.

Ertz scored twice in the opening 24 minutes—her goals came just eight minutes apart—to give the U.S. an early 2–0 cushion. It would go on to win, 3–1.

After Ertz narrowly missed on a bicycle kick that went just over the crossbar in the opening minutes, she found the back of the net at 16' off an assist from Lindsey Horan.

Ertz's second goal of the night came at 24'. After Megan Rapinoe headed a cross off the post, Ertz put away the rebound for the second brace of her career.

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New Zealand cut the U.S.'s lead to 2–1 in the 75th minute when Hannah Wilkinson got one past Alyssa Naeher. But four minutes later, Alex Morgan made it 3–1 USA with a left-footed finish after she beat her defender off a great ball from Sofia Huerta.

Huerta came off the bench to make her USWNT debut Friday. The defender, who was born in Idaho but previously played for the Mexico under-20 national team, was approved by FIFA for a change of national association earlier this week.

The match was the 100th career cap for U.S. midfielder Kelley O'Hara. The U.S. women will face New Zealand again in another friendly on Tuesday in Cincinnati.

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