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New name, same game: Mallory Pugh Swanson keeps rolling for USWNT

Mallory Swanson is rolling right into 2023. (Brad Smith/ISI Photos/Getty Images)

Mallory Pugh Swanson wasted no time in finding the back of the net in the second half of the U.S. women’s national team’s 4-0 win over New Zealand.

After scoring seven goals in 2022, including one in the USWNT’s last game of the year against Germany, she picked up right where she left off to start 2023.

The 24-year-old forward opened the scoring with her goal in the 52nd minute, and then she found the back of the net again 12 minutes later. Her goals helped open the floodgates for the team in the victory at Wellington Regional Stadium.

Swanson, who recently changed her last name from Pugh after she married Chicago Cubs shortstop Dansby Swanson in December, earned Woman of the Match honors for her effort Wednesday afternoon in New Zealand.

“Ultimately, I just want to be a positive impact on this team,” Swanson said after the game. “My job is to score goals and try and set people up to score goals.”

The offseason gave her some time to identify areas for improvement in her game, she said.

“I think that just going over my performance from the past couple of months and reviewing it this offseason, there were some easy chances in games previous that I should have put away,” she continued.

The team will now look to its second match against New Zealand, this one at Eden Park in Auckland, which will kick off at 10 p.m. ET Friday.

“We just keep trying to build off of this,” Swanson said. “It was a good win.”