The U.S. Women hosted South Korea in the first of a pair of friendlies at Gillette Stadium in Massachusetts on Saturday in front of a solid crowd of 13,035. Four U.S. players scored in their impressive 4-1 victory, their eighth of the season.
The United States dominated possession in the first half and it took them less than three minutes to find the first goal of the night, through home-state favorite Kristie Mewis. Sydney Leroux put in the legwork to the get the ball into the box but her awkward angled strike was saved. Mewis pounced on the rebound and slid it into the open net, recording her first goal at the international senior level.
Four minutes later and the U.S. struck again as Lauren Cheney picked up a pass from Tobin Heath and drove a low strike into the net to earn the home team a 2-0 lead.
South Korea gave the U.S. something to think about in the 26th minute, as Cho Sohyun hit a powerful strike over Nicole Barnhart's head from outside the 18 yard box while completely unmarked, pulling a goal back for her team. The U.S. would close out the first half with greater attention to detail, stifling the Korean attack and keeping the ball in their attacking half.
Tom Sermanni changed his goalkeeper at half time, giving Hope Solo a run-out. She was immediately tested by the visitors but managed to make a crucial diving save to keep the U.S. in the lead. Solo was forced to make another crucial diving save in the 82nd minute when she found herself in a one-on-one situation with a Korean forward.
The visitors hastened the pace in the second half and gained more possession than they had in the first 45 minutes. However, their defense still struggled. In the 57th minute, they left attacking midfielder Carli Lloyd unmarked and she scored the Americans' third goal with a ground-hugging 25-yard strike into the corner pocket of the net.
In the second minute of added time, the U.S.earned a penalty kick after Alex Morgan was taken down inside the box. Abby Wambach added her 156th goal after converting the PK.
The U.S. and South Korea will play again on June 20 at Red Bull Arena.