The United States women’s national team kicked off the Tokyo Olympics with a shocking 3-0 loss against Sweden, but midfielder Rose Lavelle insists it was a ‘blessing in disguise.’
Since the defeat, the USWNT came back stronger to defeat New Zealand 6-1 and continue their Olympic journey toward the desired gold. During the match, Lavelle opened up the scoring within 10 minutes of the first whistle.
“I think that first game we knew that one of the things we pride ourselves in [mentality] was very lacking,” Lavelle said at a news conference.
“I think we feel like although the loss obviously sucks, it is a bit of a blessing in disguise to get the loss in early on in the tournament and we know we have no room for error. It’s just bringing that same energy we had against New Zealand and elevating it even more and continuing to build and learn and then get ready for the next.”
In the same news conference, US women’s national team head coach Vlatko Andonovski expressed joy at the team’s turnover. He was happy with their performance against New Zealand and hopes to maintain the momentum for the upcoming match against Australia.
“First day, they responded well,” Andonovski said. “We are very happy with the job they did. Obviously we came with the mindset to win, with the mindset to score goals and we accomplished that but as soon as that [the win against New Zealand] happened we didn’t have time – or want – to celebrate because we wanted to focus on the next game and that has been our main focus since the game ended.
“In terms of the mentality, the players have done an incredible job reevaluating the mentality. They’ve done an incredible job getting back to our roots, to who we are. Obviously myself, I do just a little bit of that to remind them of what it is and it can look like if we’re not prepared, if we’re not ready mentally for the game. There are things we could do better. There are certainly little things I would like to see better. We have already addressed it. We haven’t had a lot of time to work on it but hopefully we can do some more today Monday.”