A-Rod starts U.S. women toward victory

Amy Rodriguez celebrates her first-half goal against Japan in a friendly on Wednesday. Andy Mead/YCJ/Icon SMI

Lake Forest's Amy Rodriguez scored the first goal and the U.S. women's national team, in preparations for this summer's Women's World Cup, completed a two-game sweep of Japan with another 2-0 victory.

Rodriguez (Santa Margarita Catholic HS/USC) scored in the 28th minute after a fine run along the right byline by Heather O'Reilly, who netted the second goal in the 69th in Cary, N.C. A-Rod's goal was her 17th in international play and second in the series.

Hermosa Beach's Lindsay Tarpley, who suffered a torn anterior cruciate ligament in her right knee in Saturday's 2-0 victory in Columbus, Ohio, watched from the stands.

Redondo Beach's Shannon Boxx (South Torrance HS), Hermosa Beach's Abby Wambach and former L.A. Sol defender Stephanie Cox also were in the U.S. lineup, and Diamond Bar's Alex Morgan (Diamond Bar HS) and former UCLA star Lauren Cheney came off the bench for the Americans.