NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Mallory Swanson scored in the 45th minute, and the United States shut out Japan 1-0 Sunday to remain undefeated in the SheBelieves Cup.
Swanson got the ball on a pass from Alex Morgan and outraced the defender before beating goalkeeper Ayaka Yamashita from the center of the box with a shot off her right foot to the far corner.
The forward in her team-best fourth start this year leads the U.S. in scoring after scoring both goals in Thursday night’s 2-0 win over Canada in Orlando to start this annual event.
Swanson, who is married Chicago Cubs and former Vanderbilt shortstop Dansby Swanson, now has six goals in four games and is one off her career-high for a season. This goal was the 31st of her national team career.
She also set a career-high scoring in her fifth straight international game dating back to Nov. 13. That tied the longest scoring streak by a U.S. women’s player since Christen Press had a six-game scoring streak between November 2019 and February 2020.
Goalkeeper Casey Murphy preserved the shutout with a a couple big saves, her first off a shot by Yui Hasegawa’s right foot right in front of the box in the 81st minute. Murphy made another big save early in the four minutes of stoppage time, smothering a left-footed shot by Jun Endo.
Rose Lavelle sat out her second straight game in this event, which concludes Wednesday in a doubleheader in Texas with the Americans playing Brazil after Japan plays Canada. Brazil plays Canada in Sunday’s second game.
Ashley Sanchez missed a header from the center of the box left in the 53rd minute off a pass from Kristie Mewis.
The U.S. had a couple of prime chances early at GEODIS Park, home to Nashville SC of MLS, in front of a crowd of 25,471.
Japanese keeper Ayaka Yamashita got her left hand on a shot from Lynn Williams in the 14th minute before the ball went off the crossbar. Then Morgan was offside before a crossing pass from Williams with Yamashita also stopping that shot in the 23rd minute.
Japan was held scoreless for a fourth straight match despite having plenty of opportunities. In the first half, Riko Ueki had one chance with her right foot from outside the box in the 25th minute that missed wide right.
Aoba Fujino missed a shot off her right foot in the 51st minute, and Hina Sugita just missed a header in front that went wide left. Then midfielder Fuka Nagano hit the crossbar with a shot off her right foot from outside the box in the 79th minute.
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