USWNT vs. Canada: Match Recap | 2024 Concacaf W Gold Cup Semifinal

SAN DIEGO (March 6, 2024) – The U.S. Women’s National Team battled through extremely difficult conditions caused by a heavily water-logged pitch to defeat Canada 3-1 in a penalty kick shootout following a 2-2 draw through 120 minutes. With the victory, the USA advances to the 2024 Concacaf W Gold Cup Final against Brazil in San Diego at Snapdragon Stadium on Sunday,  March 10 (8:15 p.m. ET / 5:15 p.m. PT; Paramount+, ESPN+, ESPN Deportes). Brazil defeated Mexico 3-0 in the first semifinal on Wednesday night. 

Goalkeeper Alyssa Naeher made three big saves in the shootout and converted her own penalty kick attempt to send the USA to the championship match. Forward Jaedyn Shaw tallied her team-leading fourth goal of the tournament to open the scoring in the 20th minute, with the 19-year-old becoming the first USWNT player ever to score in each of her first four starts. Substitute Sophia Smith scored her 16th career goal in the 99th minute off a feed from Rose Lavelle.

U.S. interim head coach Twila Kilgore went with the exact same lineup that sparked Sunday’s 3-0 quarterfinal win against Colombia. Given the wet conditions, which made dribbling or even kicking the soccer ball an adventure, the USA and Canada found it difficult to string multiple passes together as the ball would often get held up by patches of standing water present all over the field.

Despite the difficulty, those conditions contributed mightily to the USA’s opening goal when Canada defender Vanessa Gilles’ back pass for goalkeeper Kaelin Sheridan got held up in the puddles, allowing Shaw to sneak in and tuck home the USA’s opening score in the 20th minute.

Few more opportunities were had through much of the first half, but the USA did come close again in the 39th minute when Sam Coffey’s corner kick from the right found Lindsey Horan whose header at the back post was well held by Sheridan.

Stadium field operations worked vigorously throughout halftime to rid the pitch of as much water as possible, but conditions remained difficult in the second half.

In the second half, the USWNT was the beneficiary of attacking the dryer end of the field – if there was such a thing — and created early on as halftime substitute Lynn Williams collected the ball on the right and swung a cross for Horan, but the captain’s header sprayed wide of the right post in the 51st minute.

Few chances came through much of the second half, but Canada hung tough and equalized off a nice passing sequence in the 82nd minute as Ashley Lawrence’s cross from the right found Jordyn Huitema who placed her header past Naeher to make it 1-1.

The USA caused danger once before extra time, when Lavelle’s 90th minute corner kick was nodded across goal by Canada’s Kadeisha Buchanan and popped up in the air by Coffey, but Gilles headed the ball away from the goal line before it was cleared from the penalty area.

The match went into 30 minutes of overtime, the first time that had happened against Canada since the USA’s memorable 4-3 win in the 2012 Olympic Semifinal, and the USWNT restored its lead in the 99th minute as three substitutes linked up. Emily Sonnett’s looping ball was flicked on by the head of Lavelle at the top of the area allowing Sophia Smith to run into the penalty area and finish past Sheridan. The goal was the 16th of Smith’s international career and also the first USWNT goal in extra time since Alex Morgan’s 123rd minute winner in that 2012 Olympic Semifinal.

There was little threat at either end for most of the rest of extra time as the teams slogged it out on the drenched pitch, but Canada provided one more piece of drama in the first minute of stoppage time. Jade Rose lumped the ball forward looking for Gilles, who got her head to it as Alyssa Naeher came out and collided with the Canada defender before the ball pinged wide right of the goal. After VAR review, referee Katia Garcia awarded a penalty kick and showed Naeher a yellow card, before Leon slotted home the dramatic spot kick to force the match to be decided in penalties.

After Smith gave the USA a 1-0 lead in the shootout, Naeher took over, saving back-to-back attempts from Leon and Huitema before converting her own take in the third round. After Horan converted the third of four USA attempts, Naeher dove to her right to stop Canada captain Jessie Fleming’s spot kick to dramatically send the USA to the final.


USA – Jaedyn Shaw, 20th minute: Lindsey Horan’s lofted ball over the top through midfield seemed routine enough to handle for Canada’s Vanessa Gilles, but a seemingly normal back pass from the center back got held up on the water-logged pitch and allowed Shaw to run onto the ball before chipping it home with her left foot from 12 yards out. USA 1, CAN 0

CAN – Jordyn Huitema (Ashley Lawrence), 82nd minute: Canada hung tough in the match and equalized through a strong sequence. A ball over the top was collected by Adriana Leon on the left. Finding the USA chasing numbers back, Leon swung it to Lawrence just inside the box on the right before she crossed for Huitema who headed back across goal to beat Naeher. USA 1, CAN 1

USA – Sophia Smith (Rose Lavelle), 99th minute: The USA clawed back the lead when Emily Sonnett popped the ball up at midfield and Lavelle rose in the air to nod it into the box for Smith, who took it in stride and coolly finished to the right of Sheridan. USA 2, CAN 1

CAN – Adriana Leon (Penalty Kick), 120+6 minute: After Alyssa Naeher was ruled to have fouled Vanessa Gilles in the box, Leon stepped up and placed her spot kick to the right of the U.S. ‘keeper to force penalty kicks. USA 2, CAN 2 FINAL.


  • The USWNT improves to 54W-7D-4L against Canada all-time. 
  • This was the second time the USA and Canada have gone to penalty kicks, the only other such instance coming in the final of 2008 Concacaf Olympic Qualifying, which the USA won 6-5.
  • Jaedyn Shaw’s 20th minute goal was her team-leading fourth of the tournament and made her the first player in USWNT history to score in each of her first four starts. The goal came 129 days after scoring her first international goal, also coming at Snapdragon Stadium in the 3-0 friendly win against Colombia on Oct. 29, 2023.
  • Sophia Smith’s 99th minute winner was the 16th of her international career and first of the 2024 Concacaf W Gold Cup.
  • Smith’s goal was also the USWNT’s first in extra time since Alex Morgan’s 123rd minute winner in the 4-3 victory against Canada in the 2012 Olympic Semifinal.
  • Rose Lavelle’s assist on Smith’s winner was her second of the tournament, tying her with Midge Purce for the team lead.


Match: U.S. Women’s National Team vs. Canada
Date: March 6, 2024
Competition: Concacaf W Gold Cup – Semifinal
Venue: Snapdragon Stadium; San Diego, Calif.
Attendance: 15,245
Kickoff: 7:15 p.m. PT (10:15 p.m. ET)
Weather: 56 degrees, rainy

Scoring Summary:    1          2          OT1     OT2     F         PK
USA                               1          0          1          0          2          3
CAN                               0          1          0          1          2          1

USA – Jaedyn Shaw                                                    20th minute
CAN – Jordyn Huitema (Ashley Lawrence)            82
USA – Sophia Smith (Rose Lavelle)                         99
CAN – Adriana Leon (penalty kick)                         120+7

Penalty Summary:
USA: Sophia Smith (Goal), Korbin Albert (Missed), Alyssa Naeher (Goal), Lindsey Horan (Goal)
CAN: Adriana Leon (Saved), Jordyn Huitema (Saved), Quinn (Goal), Jessie Fleming (Saved)

USA: 1-Alyssa Naeher; 23-Emily Fox, 4-Naomi Girma, 12-Tierna Davidson, 3-Jenna Nighswonger (20-Casey Krueger, 46); 17-Sam Coffey (14-Emily Sonnett, 85), 15-Korbin Albert, 10-Lindsey Horan (Capt.); 22-Trinity Rodman (11-Sophia Smith, 65), 7-Alex Morgan (16-Rose Lavelle, 72), 8-Jaedyn Shaw (6-Lynn Williams, 46)
Substitutes not used: 18-Casey Murphy, 21-Jane Campbell, 2-Abby Dahlkemper, 5-Becky Sauerbrunn, 9-Midge Purce, 13-Olivia Moultrie, 19-Crystal Dunn
Head Coach: Twila Kilgore

CAN: 1-Kailen Sheridan; 12-Jade Rose, 14-Vanessa Gilles (4-Shelina Zadorsky, 120), 3-Kadeisha Buchanan (23-Olivia Smith, 90); 10-Ashley Lawrence, 13-Simi Awujo (9-Jordyn Huitema, 56), 17-Jessie Fleming (Capt.), 16-Gabby Carle (21-Clarissa Larisey, 105); 6-Deanne Rose (11-Evelyne Viens, 68), 19-Adriana Leon, 20-Cloe Lacasse (5-Quinn, 68)
Substitutes not used: 18-Sabrina D’angelo, 22-Lysianne Proulx, 2-Bianca St Georges, 7-Julia Grosso, 8-Marie-Yasmine Alidou
Head Coach: Beverly Priestman

Stats Summary: USA / CAN
Shots: 9 / 6
Shots on Goal: 4 / 4
Saves: 2 / 2
Corner Kicks: 6 / 4
Fouls: 12 / 15
Offside: 1 / 3

Misconduct Summary:
CAN – Adriana Leon (Caution)            90+2 minute
USA – Alyssa Naeher (Caution)        120+5

Referee: Katia Garcia (MEX)
Assistant Referee 1: Enedina Caudillo (MEX)
Assistant Referee 2: Karen Diaz (MEX)
4th Official: Karen Hernandez (MEX)
VAR: Daneon Parchment (JAM)
AVAR: Tatiana Guzman (NCA)

Michelob Ultra Woman of the Match: Alyssa Naeher

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