ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) — Having collected her first career hat trick, the celebration continued for Samantha Mewis as she cheered on her big sister Kristie.
Samantha Mewis scored three goals and Kristie added another to give the United States a 4-0 exhibition victory over short-handed Colombia on Monday.
“I’m just so proud of Kristie. I think it’s so cool to watch her success here and to have her here,” said Samantha Mewis, the reigning U.S. Soccer Player of the Year. “I feel so lucky that we both get to be here and it’s just been so much fun.”
The U.S. extended its unbeaten streak to 33 matches. The defending World Cup champions have a 49-game undefeated streak on home soil.
The teams were set to play at Exploria Stadium again on Friday.
It was the first home game for the Americans since the SheBelieves Cup last March. Colombia did not play a match last year.
Alex Morgan was not with the team because she contracted the coronavirus over the holidays. Carli Lloyd started up top against the Colombians.
Megan Rapinoe also started after taking much of last year off because of concern over COVID-19.
Rapinoe served up a perfectly placed cross to Samantha Mewis in front of the goal in the fourth minute. The younger Mewis, who plays for Manchester City of the FA Women’s Super League, scored again in the 33rd minute. She converted a penalty kick early in the second half to complete the hat trick before subbing out.
Kristie Mewis, who came in as a sub in the second half, scored in the 86th minute. It was her third international goal.
The television broadcast caught Samantha’s enthusiastic applause in the stands after her sister’s goal. Kristie has earned call-ups to the national team recently following her standout play for the Houston Dash.
“It’s the first game of 2021, we wanted to start the year off on the right foot. We definitely had been preparing hard for this game so it feels good to come away with a win as a team,” Samantha said. “Then to have some individual success and then to see Kristie score a goal as well, it was just so much fun and I really am just so proud of her.”
Catarina Macario came off the bench for the second half, making her first appearance for the national team. Macario, who was born in Brazil, became a U.S. citizen last fall and recently received approval from FIFA to play for the Americans.
Macario decided to forgo her senior season at Stanford and sign with French powerhouse Lyon.
Colombia was without three players — midfielders Daniela Montoya, Diana Carolina Ospina and defender Carolina Arias — who were in isolation because of COVID-19 tracing protocols. A fourth player, midfielder Ana Gabriela Huertas, had inconclusive test results and was ruled out of the match. Those players could be available on Friday.
“I thought we did a good job but at the same time I want to give credit to the Colombian players for doing a great job in the one-v-one duels,” U.S. coach Vlatko Andonovski said. “When we were putting pressures on individual duels I thought that was the only area we could have done a little bit better.”
Andonovski announced before the game that defender Becky Sauerbrunn would take over as team captain. In recent years, the captain’s armband was passed among a group of veterans, including Rapinoe and Lloyd.
Andonovski, who replaced Jill Ellis after she stepped down following the 2019 World Cup victory, is 12-0-0 as the U.S coach.
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