Lavelle bags golazo, Mewis returns as USWNT ends 2020 in style

Photo by Dean Mouhtaropoulos/Getty Images

The USWNT returned to the field for the first time since March — and for the final time in 2020 — to cap off a disjointed calendar year with a stylish victory over the Netherlands in a rematch of the 2019 World Cup final.

[ MORE: USWNT coverage from On Her Turf — FULL RECAP ]

Rose Lavelle scored a stunning strike which turned out to be the winning goal in the 41st minute, and Kristie Mewis marked her first USWNT cap since 2014 with a well-taken goal just nine minutes after coming off the bench midway through the second half.

As far as 2020 goes, the good vibes were off the charts and so desperately needed.

Speaking of good vibes, the entirety of the USWNT wore “Black Lives Matter” — printed in big, bold letters on the front of their warmup jackets — as they took the field for the national anthem. Nine of the 11 starters knelt as the anthem began to play as they strived to “affirm human decency.”

“This is not political, it’s a statement on human rights,” they stated as part of a longer message via the USWNT Twitter account.

[ MORE: USWNT wears Black Lives Matter to “affirm human decency” ]

Perhaps Lavelle was out to make her case for more playing time at Manchester City after she sat on the bench as an unused substitute while her team coughed up a 2-0 lead en route to a disappointing Manchester derby draw two weeks ago. Whatever her motivation, Lavelle couldn’t have hit this ball any better.

Alex Morgan also came off the bench and made her USWNT return on Friday, after giving birth to her first child in May. It was Morgan’s first appearance in the red, white and blue since that 2019 final in Lyon.

But it was Mewis who delivered the moment of the match, not only when she entered the game in the 61st minute and partnered her sister Sam in midfield, but when Lynn Williams played her into space with a clever, first-time through ball. Mewis took it from there as she rifled a left-footed finish inside the far post to make it 2-0 and put the game to bed.