US women defeats Colombia 2-0 in Sandy friendly

Former BYU soccer star Ashley Hatch trains with the U.S. women's national team at Rio Tinto Stadium.

Former BYU soccer star Ashley Hatch trains with the U.S. women's national team at Rio Tinto Stadium. (USWNT, Twitter)



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SANDY β€” The U.S. Women's National Team dominated Colombia in a 2-0 international friendly win at Rio Tinto Stadium Tuesday in front of 16,000 fans.

"The biggest takeaway was that we do have a very good team and we found a way to score goals in different ways," head coach Vlatko Andonovski said. "Even though today I would say it was not their best performance, we still managed to score goals and get off the field successfully."

The U.S. owned a 64-36% lead in possession and 18-6 lead in shots against Colombia. The match was the final tune-up for the U.S. as it readies for World Cup qualifying in the CONCACAF Women's Championship next month in Monterrey, Mexico.

BYU women's soccer alumna Ashley Hatch traveled with the team to Sandy and held a charity fundraising tailgate before the match to support at-risk women in Utah through the nonprofit Journey of Hope.

"It was fun. I always love playing here," Hatch said. "We had a good turnout, and it was just exciting to be on the field in front of this crowd."

The match also marked the first time a player with a limb difference has played for the U.S. when defender Carson Pickett got the start in Sandy.

The U.S. went up 1-0 in the 22nd minute on a Colombia own goal off of a Sofia Huerta cross. Alex Morgan helped save the ball and get it to Huerta just inside the 18-yard box.

Morgan got a chance of her own in first-half stoppage time when another Huerta cross found her in the center of the box. She volleyed the cross but it went high and rebounded off the crossbar, sending the team into halftime with a 1-0 lead.

The second half started off with another big chance for the U.S. when Morgan's shot was deflected in the box and Megan Rapinoe got her head on the rebound for a shot on goal. A Colombian defender got to it just in time, however, and cleared the ball off the goal line.

Hatch entered the match in the 71st minute for the U.S., replacing Morgan up front. Kelley O'Hara, former midfielder for the now-defunct Utah Royals, also came on in the 71st minute for the U.S. Hatch and O'Hara currently play together for the Washington Spirit, where Hatch was recently nominated for the Best NWSL Player ESPY Award.

"Ashley is just a pure goal scorer," Morgan said when asked about what she's seen from Hatch. "For her to get the opportunity and be here now consistently, she's done great. It's nice for me to come back in and and to work with someone like her and see a lot of younger faces within this team."

The match was delayed almost immediately after Hatch's entrance due to lightning in the area but resumed about an hour later.

O'Hara scored the second goal for the U.S. in the 77th minute when a rebound came to her in the box and she volleyed the ball into the far post in her former home stadium. It was her first goal for the U.S. national team since 2016.

"We came back out after the rain delay and I was like, 'there's a party out here; these guys are having a ball,'" O'Hara said. "It was fun to play in the RioT again and score."

Andonovski said he thinks Hatch will "get to play a lot and help us in the upcoming games," and complimented her goalscoring ability and "feeling" for the goal.

The U.S. kicks off World Cup qualifying in the CONCACAF Women's Championship on July 4 against Haiti.

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Caleb Turner covers Real Salt Lake as the team's beat writer for KSL.com, in addition to his role where he oversees the sports team's social media accounts.

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