Mallory Pugh’s name has been all over the headlines over the last week, as the 17-year-old prospect, perhaps the most highly regarded to date, found herself in the middle of a very public “should she turn pro, or go to college” tug of war.
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One can only assume it’s been a stressful time for the Highlands Ranch, Colo., native. On Saturday, though, life seemed pretty simple once again for the teenage soccer prodigy, as the 2014-15 Gatorade National Girls Player of the Year made her debut for the U.S. women’s national team.
If Pugh was feeling any nerves on her senior international debut, she sure didn’t show it during the 30 minutes she was on the field. With 83 minutes on the clock, Pugh marked the occasion by becoming the 19th player in USWNT history to score on her senior team debut (below video).
That’ll do well to keep the American soccer hype train under control. Just as Pugh was beginning her international career, USWNT superstar Alex Morgan reached the 100-caps milestone on Saturday. Carli Lloyd secured the victory for the Americans with a 28-minute hat trick in the first half. The USWNT went on to defeat Ireland by the final score of 5-0.