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Alyssa Naeher Posts Shutout In USWNT’s World Cup-Opening 13-0 Victory Over Thailand

Former Penn State women’s soccer goalkeeper Alyssa Naeher backstopped the United States Women’s National Team to a victory in its first game of the 2019 World Cup in Reims, France.

The Nittany Lions’ shot-stopper from 2006-2009 made two saves for the Americans, who beat Thailand by a score of 13-0 to claim all three points and move to the top of Group F.

Naeher definitely didn’t have the busiest outing in between the sticks. She made one save in each half as the United States’ deadly attack completely overwhelmed Thailand.

Team USA star Alex Morgan opened the scoring in the 12th minute before Rose Lavelle, Lindsey Horan, and Sam Mewis added goals later in the match. Jill Ellis’ side took a 3-0 lead into halftime before blitzing Thailand with four goals in seven minutes early in the second half. Four second-half goals from Morgan, a tidy finish from captain Megan Rapinoe, a World Cup debut goal from 21-year old Mallory Pugh late in the second half, and Carli Lloyd’s 111th score for the USWNT helped the United States set the record for the most goals in a World Cup match.

Naeher isn’t the only Penn State women’s soccer product to feature on this year’s World Cup roster. Defender Ali Krieger, who played for Penn State from 2003-2006, was surprisingly included in this year’s roster after a two-year absence from the national team. She and midfielder Allie Long, a Nittany Lion from 2005-2006 before transferring to North Carolina, were unused substitutes on Tuesday.

During her collegiate career, Naeher earned first team All-American honors twice and won the Big Ten’s defensive player of the year in 2007. She got her chance to shine as the USWNT’s first-choice goalkeeper after Hope Solo’s contract with the national team was suspended following the 2016 Olympic Games.

Team USA will be back in action at noon Sunday, June 16 for a contest against Chile. The game will be played at the Parcs des Princes in Paris, which is the home of reigning Ligue 1 champions Paris Saint-Germain.

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About the Author

Mikey Mandarino

In the most upsetting turn of events, Mikey graduated from Penn State with a digital & print journalism degree in the spring of 2020. He covered Penn State football and served as an editor for Onward State from 2018 until his graduation. Mikey is from Bedminster, New Jersey, so naturally, he spends lots of time yelling about all the best things his home state has to offer. Mikey also loves to play golf, but he sucks at it because golf is really hard. If you, for some reason, feel compelled to see what Mikey has to say on the internet, follow him on Twitter @Mikey_Mandarino. You can also get in touch with Mikey via his big-boy email address: [email protected]

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