Alana Cook scored a goal on her birthday to lead the U.S. Women’s National Team to a 1-0 win and two-game sweep over the Republic or Ireland in St. Louis Tuesday night.
A crowd of 22,294 turned out to CITYPARK for the second game between the two World Cup-bound teams over a four-day span.
Eastern PA Olympic Development Program alum Marissa Sheva started for the second straight game. The Sellersville native logged 69 minutes in her third appearance for Ireland.
Becky Sauerbrunn celebrated her 200th cap milestone in front of her hometown crowd before the game started and nearly put the U.S. up with a headed attempt off a corner kick that hit the crossbar.
Ireland had a couple chances to open the scoring but it was a long ball from Cook just before halftime that caught the keeper out and led to the night’s only goal.
Cook became the third playing in U.S. Women’s National Team history to score on her birthday, joining Mia Hamm (hat trick in 1998) and Alex Morgan (2019).
With the 1-0 lead the U.S. was able to limit Ireland’s attempts to find a way back as Casey Murphy was able to record her 10th career clean sheet.
Julie Ertz played the full second half and was one of six substitutes head coach Vlatko Andonovski used on the night. Tierna Davidson subbed in for Sauerbrunn in a planned first half sub. Casey Krueger, Kristie Mewis, Trinity Rodman and Ashley Hatch also came on in the second half.
Eighteen-year-old Alyssa Thompson made her first start in her third appearance and played the full 90 minutes. At only 18 years and 155 days old, Thompson is the youngest player to start for the USWNT since Mallory Swanson (formerly Pugh) started against Sweden at the 2016 Olympics at 18 years and 105 days of age.
The USWNT will return to action on Sunday, July 9 as the team takes on Wales in its 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup Send-Off Match at PayPal Park in San Jose, Calif.
Photo credit: ISI Photos/U.S. Soccer