Just four years ago, Rose Lavelle earned her first U.S. women's national team cap at the SheBelieves Cup. On Thursday night, she scored the match-winner in the 79th minute to break a deadlock between the U.S. and Canada in the SheBelieves Cup opener.
The United States had controlled the game from the start, outshooting Canada 3-1 in the first 20 minutes, but neither side registered a shot on target during that time and the game remained scoreless through the first half.
USWNT coach Vlatko Andonovski didn't make any changes until the 62nd minute, electing to sub off starters Megan Rapinoe, Carli Lloyd and Catarina Macario for Lavelle, Christen Press and Alex Morgan.
Lavelle and Press quickly upped the energy for the Americans, creating chaos within the box. Lavelle eventually found the crucial breakthrough.
As the USWNT took a free kick, players scrambled inside of Canada's box. The ball bounced back to Lavelle, who was positioned in the middle. The 25-year-old took a few steps before rocketing the ball into the bottom right corner, marking her 14th career goal for the national team.
The scoreline held until the final whistle. The U.S. controlled possession 53% of the game, and will return to action on Sunday against Brazil before completing tournament play vs. Argentina. Brazil beat Argentina, 4-1, in the tournament opener and tops the table on goal differential.
Canada, despite missing seven regulars and playing its first match under manager Bev Priestman, didn't make life easy for the U.S. and had multiple chances to take the lead. Perhaps no chance was better than Janine Beckie's clear look in the 53rd-minute, after a Crystal Dunn backpass played Canada in on goal.
Nevertheless, the USWNT has not lost in 35 matches, including 14 straight victories since manager Andonovski took over in 2019. The win against Canada marked the 61st meeting all-time between the two rivals, dating back to 1986.