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Smith notches first USWNT goal and provides an assist in 8-0 thrashing of Paraguay

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Sophia Smith registered her first start and her first international goal on Tuesday night in Cincinnati. She also added an assist.

Soccer: USWNT International Friendly Match-Paraguay at USA Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports

Sophia Smith logged her first international start and goal in the USWNT’s 8-0 win over Paraguay in TQL Stadium on Tuesday. Smith also provided her second international assist to Alex Morgan. Becky Sauerbrunn featured as a substitute.

Sophia Smith made her first USWNT start against Paraguay in TQL Stadium in Cincinnati, OH on Tuesday. Crystal Dunn and Becky Sauerbrunn began on the bench and Lindsey Horan was not included in the squad due to injury.

The Cincinnati native, Rose Lavelle, struck fast and often against Paraguay. Casey Krueger swung in a cross to the head of Lavelle after receiving a throw-in. The midfielder fired her header into the back of the net in the fourth minute.

Two minutes later, Lavelle turned provider as Smith scored her first international goal. Mallory Pugh settled the ball and drove into midfield. She laid it off to Lavelle, who played the ball into the penalty area. Smith ran off the back shoulder of her defender, got to the ball first, took a touch around the keeper, and finished.

Lavelle notched her second assist by swinging a cross to the forehead of Alex Morgan, who converted in the eighth minute. Morgan secured a brace in the 14th minute after the ball bounced around in the box and she struck it cleanly into the back of the net.

One minute later, Lavelle was at it again. She won the ball back right off the kickoff and drove toward goal. She slid a through ball into the box and Catarina Macario side footed the ball in at the back post.

Alex Morgan completed her hat trick in the 53rd minute. Smith was played down the right and evaded a challenge before driving end line and finding Morgan for a tap in. It was Smith’s second international assist to Morgan and her second overall. The first came against Argentina in the 2021 Summer Series.

Becky Sauerbrunn replaced Tierna Davidson in the 61st minute. Smith was subbed off for Tobin Heath ten minutes later.

Carli Lloyd made it 7-0 in the 78th minute. Macario curled a free kick toward goal. It was punched into the air by the Paraguayan goalkeeper. It fell to the feet of Lloyd, who poked it into the back of the net.

In the 82nd minute, Macario scored a brilliant goal. The ball bounced out to her on the top of the box and she put her laces through it. It soared into the top corner for the U.S.’s eighth and final goal of the night.

The USWNT will conclude their four-match tour around the midwest in late October. The team will take on Korea Republic in Kansas City, KS. and St. Paul, MN. on Oct. 21 and Oct. 26, respectively. Both matches are scheduled to kick off at 5 p.m. (Pacific).

The Portland Thorns are back in action on Saturday, Sep. 25, in SeatGeek Stadium as they take on the Chicago Red Stars in Bridgeview, IL. Kickoff is scheduled for 5 p.m. (Pacific).