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BRASILIA, BRAZIL - AUGUST 12: Megan Rapinoe #15 of United States goes up for the ball against Sweden in the second half as Carli Lloyd #10 of United States looks on during the Women's Football Quarterfinal match at Mane Garrincha Stadium on Day 7 of the Rio 2016 Olympic Games on August 12, 2016 in Brasilia, Brazil.

USA Women’s Soccer Team Defeats Sweden In Team’s First Real Test

After netting an astonishing 16 goals during their first two World Cup games, the United States Women’s Soccer team already looks as if they could give their World Cup winning team from four years ago a good run for their money. The team scored a record–setting 13 goals during their first match, and then followed up with a proficient 3–0 victory against Chile days later. With the United States team displaying consistent excellence both offensively and defensively, very few squads poise to really make the defending champs sweat during this tournament. Sweden stood as perhaps the team with the greatest potential to fill that role however, as they knocked out the United States during the 2016 Rio Olympics.

Despite Sweden’s ability to challenge the United States unlike their prior opponents, the reigning world cup champions added another win, defeating Sweden with a 2–0 score. Lindsey Horan found the net early, scoring during the game’s third minute after a Megan Rapinoe corner kick. So far, Horan’s goal maintains this tournament’s record for the fastest goal scored. Responding from their early deficit, Sweden applied almost constant pressure throughout the contest, lead by Sofia Jakobsson, who drew the most attention from the USA’s defense.

Effective defense from both squads kept the game goalless once more all the way toward the second half’s inaugural minute, as the United States eventually doubled their lead after a review ruled an own goal on Joanna Andersson‘s behalf. The goal brought the team’s total up to 18, setting a record for most goals by a single team in the World Cup’s group stage. Protecting their lead until the final horn, the United States gifted zero goals to their Swiss opponents, continuing their shutout play as the team remains unscored upon thus far during the tournament.

“It’s a good performance and we wanted to continue to build momentum…It was a rival game and I thought the players showed a great mentality,” stated proud head coach Jill Ellis once the dust settled. Tobin Heath, who ran with the team’s front attack during the match, commented after the game too as she stated, “It’s huge and a big part of what we’re trying to do both offensively and defensively. We talk about the idea of 360-degree defending where everyone is defending.”

Spain awaits the United States now, poising to potentially become the next squad victimized by the United States’ record breaking offensive capabilities. The match will begin at 12 p.m. ETS this Monday, June 24.

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Written by Collin Helwig

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