Cincinnati's Rose Lavelle Scored Team USA's First Goal at the Tokyo Olympics This Weekend

After an unexpected shutout from Sweden on July 21, the U.S. Women's National Soccer Team rallied a few days later for a 6-1 trouncing of New Zealand with Lavelle leading the way.

click to enlarge Rose Lavelle celebrates with teammates after scoring a goal in the Tokyo Olympics on July 24, 2021. - IMAGE: NBC VIDEO STILL
Image: NBC video still
Rose Lavelle celebrates with teammates after scoring a goal in the Tokyo Olympics on July 24, 2021.

Rose Lavelle is doing Cincinnati proud.

The Queen City's hometown soccer midfielder scored the U.S. Women's National Team's first goal in the Tokyo Olympics on Saturday, kicking off an absolute annihilation of New Zealand. 

After an unexpected shutout from Sweden on July 21 — the team's first loss since January 2019 — Team USA rallied a few days later for a 6-1 trouncing of New Zealand with Lavelle leading the way. 

During her first Olympics, Lavelle knocked in a goal around the nine-minute mark, the team's first during the 2020 Games (though the Tokyo Olympics are happening this year, they're still considered to be the 2020 Olympic Games due to the coronavirus pandemic delay).

The USWNT reports that the team's six goals made for their highest margin of victory at the Olympics ever.

First Lady Dr. Jill Biden was in the stands to watch Lavelle and the crew.

Team USA next will take on Australia on Tuesday, July 27. See the full Olympic soccer schedule.

Lavelle, who graduated from Mount Notre Dame (MND) High School in 2013, was named the Cincinnati Enquirer’s Player of the Year during her senior year. Her alma mater gathered last Wednesday to watch the match against Sweden, and Lavelle's family hosted a watch party Saturday for the memorable New Zealand game.

After a career at the University of Wisconsin, Lavelle became the No. 1 draft pick in the 2017 National Women’s Soccer League, playing for the Boston Breakers. Lavelle was named MVP during the 2021 SheBelieves Cup’s winning match earlier this year

She also was vital to the USWNT’s exuberant World Cup victory in 2019. Lavelle started all six games and scored three goals, including one in the finals against the Netherlands.

Vlatko Andonovski, head coach for the USWNT, announced the Olympics roster in June. Lavelle joins breakout stars Megan Rapinoe, Becky Sauerbrunn and Carli Lloyd on the team.

If the U.S. women's soccer team wins the Olympic gold medal, they will become the first team — female or male — to win both the World Cup and Olympics in a single cycle, the Los Angeles Times reported last week. The gold medal match is scheduled for Aug. 5.


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