The U.S. women's national team put on quite a show Thursday for a raucous crowd in attendance at Busch Stadium in St. Louis, as Carli Lloyd, Tobin Heath, Rose Lavelle and Sam Mewis all scored in a 5-0 rout over New Zealand in a pre-Women's World Cup friendly.
It looked like it might be another frustrating game for the Americans after they struggled to finish chances early on Sunday against South Africa, but a couple of missed chances were all forgotten in the 35th minute when Megan Rapinoe found herself in a bit of space down the left flank and put in a beautiful ball that led to an easy tap-in for Heath.
It didn't take long for the Americans to find a second, as a smart cross—from a similar area of the field that Rapinoe crossed it in from—by Lindsey Horan picked out a sprinting Rose Lavelle to make the score 2-0 in the 39th.
As the U.S. kept the intensity up throughout the second half, Jill Ellis opted to bring on a number of attacking players, including Carli Lloyd, to try and give some minutes to her impressive stable of forwards. She was immediately rewarded by Lloyd scoring with her first touch seconds after coming on.
Lloyd got her second in the 83rd minute–the 110th of her illustrious career–and another substitute, Sam Mewis, capped off the scoring a minute later with a deflected long-range shot to complete the 5-0 romp.
The game was also notable for Ali Krieger—who had been frozen out of the USWNT squad for two years before making a late return in time to snag a ticket to France—as she earned her 100th cap for the national team after coming on in the second half.
The U.S. women have one more match in their send-off series before departing for the Women's World Cup, as they play Mexico on May 26 at Red Bull Arena.