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Lynn Williams breaks out of scoring slump with brace in USWNT win

Lynn Williams scored twice in the USWNT's 3-0 win over South Africa on Sept. 21. (Trevor Ruszkowski/ISI Photos/USSF/Getty Images for USSF)

Lynn Williams may have gone into the U.S. women’s national team’s Thursday friendly against South Africa in a goal-scoring rut, but she didn’t leave it on one.

The 30-year-old forward notched a brace in the 3-0 win, opening up the scoring in the 32nd minute before notching a second less than 10 minutes later. Her goals, plus one more from Trinity Rodman, put the team up by three at the half.

The brace also marked her first goals since June, when she last scored with her NWSL club, Gotham FC. She hasn’t scored in the three straight league games since then, and she didn’t score for the USWNT at the World Cup. But she’s been creating chances, including an assist in each of her two most recent NWSL outings.

The win provides a positive stepping stone for the USWNT coming out of a disappointing World Cup. And it also is a positive sign for Williams, who had not scored for the USWNT since she got on the scoreboard mere minutes after her return from a hamstring injury in February.

It’s also her second career multi-goal game and her first since 2019.

“Anything to get over the line,” Williams said after the win. “We have been talking about in training, my job was just to stay in front of the keeper, getting her sign line of sight. And we have amazing servers and amazing aerial presence. So my job was just to make her job hard.

“I felt like I did my job, but I don’t get those goals without the great service, and then a great first contact. Sometimes we see the glory of the goal scorer, but we don’t see the intricate pieces and everybody on set pieces has to do their role for things to happen.”

Williams is “proud” of how the team responded after their World Cup disappointment, especially as the Olympics are less than a year away, she said.

“Obviously, everybody knows we didn’t do what we wanted to do at the World Cup,” she said. “But we’re not going to dwell on that. We can learn from that and we just have to move forward. The Olympics are very close. And it’s a new group, we’re going to be getting a new coach. So I think that this game was a good first step in that process of moving forward.”