Start of something exciting

Matthew Visinsky/Icon SMI

Carli Lloyd scored one of the four goals in the USWNT's 4-0 win over Australia on Sunday.

After finishing up the NWSL season, I came back to New Jersey and spent my six-week break at home in my house!

It’s always so great to be home. I took time off from soccer, which is hard but very much needed. I slept in, cooked different recipes and golfed a lot. It was eventually time to start building back my fitness again, but the break was an important rest for my body.

Sunday’s game against Australia (4-0) was a great result for us. We feel this is the beginning of our journey to World Cup qualifying a year from now. Our new coach, Tom Sermanni, has been mixing things up with the lineups, and we had a different back line in for this game. I think they did a great job! With such depth on our team there’s a lot of opportunity for us all to compete day in and day out for starting spots.

Chuck Myers/Getty Images

Carli Lloyd (right) celebrates with teammate Abby Wambach. Lloyd and the USWNT play New Zealand in two games next week.

Everyone has been adapting well to Tom’s philosophy. Whatever he has to say tactically has definitely made sense, and the key is for us to continue to trust in him and his philosophy. We are all learning and growing as a team and as individuals.

We were playing the team Tom used to coach, so we knew that the Australians were going to come out fired up. Our plan was to start the game off well, score and not give them any easy chances.

In recent training I’ve worked on my shooting and finishing, refining my technique and making sure I’m striking the ball properly and improving. I spent countless hours working on scoring from crosses and volleys, and shooting from outside the box. The hours I put in paid off Sunday as I was able to score a volley against the Aussies.

I also had the opportunity to catch up with my Western New York Flash teammate Sam Kerr, who plays for Australia. I stepped on her foot pretty hard in the game -- she was in my blind spot and I didn’t even see her -- but I heard her say, “Ow, that really hurt!” We laughed about it after the game. She’s a great person with a lot of potential. I was happy that I had the opportunity to get to know her and play with her during the NWSL season.

We are off Thursday to San Francisco for two games against New Zealand on Sunday and Wednesday. I hear the team has really improved, so it will be another tough opponent to play against. Exciting times lie ahead, but I’m taking it day by day!