(Jesse Louie / Just Women's Sports)

EAST HARTFORD — A crowd of 27,758 fans, a barrage of first-half goals and celebratory sparklers yielded the ultimate send-off for the U.S. women’s national soccer team.

After a challenging year that pushed the 2020 Summer Olympics back into 2021, the USWNT showed the world just how resilient it is during the Send-Off Series against Mexico. From the opening whistle Sunday, the crowd — the largest ever to watch the USWNT in the state of Connecticut — had Pratt & Whitney Stadium rocking.

Three goals (and one beautifully drawn-up goal wrongly called offsides) in the first 12 minutes indicated this team is ready for Tokyo. The USWNT added two more goals in the 37th and 39th minutes for good measure, and the celebration seemed endless during the 4-0 win.

I was stationed on the end opposite the USWNT’s goal-scoring during the first half, but please enjoy the rest of the imagery captured on this picture-perfect night.