CARY, N.C. — Midfielder Rose Lavelle hasn’t been on the national stage long, but it’s clear she’s already making a big impact with the U.S. Women’s National Team.
Lavelle led the United States to a 7-0 victory over Trinidad and Tobago on Wednesday with two goals as the team edges closer to securing a spot in the 2019 FIFA World Cup.
The U.S. found the back of the net early in the match, but it was a long 32 minutes before the USWNT saw another goal. After several missed opportunities as Trinidad and Tobago defended the U.S. well, Lavelle scored on a left-footed blast from outside the penalty area in the 41st minute to give the U.S. a 2-0 lead. She scored again less than 90 seconds later.
What a strike by Rose Lavelle! ?
The USWNT goes up 2-0 with only a few minutes to go before the half. pic.twitter.com/fkKxNTVXes
— FOX Soccer (@FOXSoccer) October 11, 2018
“We know we have to stay positive in those instances,” Lavelle told reporters after the game. “It’s easy to get frustrated when a team’s sitting in a low block like that and you’re having so many chances, but at the same time I think we knew it was just a matter of time and we had to keep pressing and stay positive and one would fall for us.”
Lavelle, who missed the majority of 2017 with a hamstring injury, said her two goals Wednesday helped her gain confidence as the team gears up for the semifinals. But she knows there’s still room for her to grow.
“I still don’t really feel quite to my full self but I think my touch is there and all that’s there,” Lavelle said. “I think it’s more mentally I don’t feel quite there yet and it’s good to have games like these to kind of help boost my confidence and kind of take more steps to get there.
“This is a super competitive environment and so every practice and training is super intense and then also coming back from an injury and being out for so long, I feel like I kind of lost myself a little coming back and so I’m still working on trying to get there. I think I’m getting there but not quite where I want to be yet.”
Lavelle’s teammates, however, see something special in the 23-year-old midfielder.
“I always say she brings a little something different to our attack. She’s a very unpredictable player so I think for us when we’re trying to break down teams, you know she can make that clever pass or take on the dribble,” midfielder Tobin Heath said. “She is more of a creative player and can see things other players don’t see. So for us to have a player like that is important to be able to break down teams.”
As Lavelle grows into her role with the USWNT and earns more playing time, her next opportunity will be in Texas as the team plays in the semifinals of the 2018 CONCACAF Women’s Championship on Oct. 14.