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US defender Kristie Mewis is Boston Strong

Posted by Julian Cardillo  June 15, 2013 09:29 PM

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Boston native Kristie Mewis (right) celebrates her first career international goal with Lauren Cheney (left) (photo credit: Italo Alexander Photography)

FOXBORO, Mass- Kristie Mewis will remember her first career international goal for the rest of her life. The Hanson, Mass native scored in just the third minute of the US' 4-1 victory over Korea Republic at Gillette Stadium on Saturday, venturing into the penalty area from her natural position at left back to finish a play created by Sydney LeRoux.

"It was the best feeling in the entire world," Mewis said after the game while her hometown crowd chanted her name from the stands.

The South Koreans struggled to contain LeRoux in the opening 20 minutes of the game, her speed setting up a string of chances from the right flank. On the goal, Mewis went into the penalty area unmarked and easily poked one of LeRoux's feeds into the back of the open net to give the US the early lead.

"I saw that the back post was open, that whole are was open, so I decided to make a run there," explained Mewis. "It ended up slipping through and I just tapped it in. I owe a lot of credit to Sydney LeRoux, who made a great run and pass to set it up."

The fact that Mewis made a run into the penalty area from a defensive position is probably due to the fact that her natural position is on the left wing. US national team coach Tom Sermanni moved her into a defensive position when he began calling her up for international games earlier this year.

"It's definitely new and it's different," said Mewis of moving into defense. "But the girls that are playing next to me are unbelievable and so supportive so it's been a really good experience. I'm still learning and still growing and I'm a young player but I think I'll be able to manage if I keep doing what I'm doing."

"Tom [Sermanni] is giving new players experience. It's been such a good year so far and we're really growing as a team."

Of the 13,035 who attended the game and saw Mewis represent her city and country, close to 70 were members of her own family. A star at Whitman-Hanson Regional High School and Boston College, Mewis, now a regular starter with FC Kansas City of the National Women's Soccer League, relished the opportunity to return home and play in front of loved ones and friends.

But what was perhaps just as fulfilling was donning a US jersey with a "Boston Strong" patch sewn on it to honor those lost in the Boston Marathon Terrorist Attacks. Mewis' goal and her presence on the field against Korea Republic was quite the statement in front of her hometown crowd.

"I was born in Boston. This is my home, this is my place, and something that horrible happened in my hometown. To be able to come here, just a couple of months after, be able to play in front of everyone and score on this night just makes it that much more memorable."

Mewis will join the US for a re-match against Korea Republic on Thursday at Red Bull Arena in New Jersey. After that, she will return to FC Kansas City to close out the remainder of the NWSL season. Mewis has helped Kansas City achieve fourth place in the overall league standings, four points ahead of her hometown Breakers.

The Breakers could have signed Mewis were it not for the order in this winter's college draft. Kansas City signed her with the third overall pick in the draft, just ahead of Boston who had the fifth overall pick. But Mewis will make another return to Boston on Aug. 10 when the Breakers host Kansas City at Dilboy Stadium in Somerville.

"Obviously it's a little disappointing that I didn't get drafted by Boston, but I'm having fun in Kansas City. I'm having the time of my life there."

Though she is currently playing for a different city, she has no problem saying: "I'm Boston. I'm such a Boston girl and I always will be."

This blog is not written or edited by Boston.com or the Boston Globe.
The author is solely responsible for the content.

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About Corner Kicks: Julian Cardillo offers insight and analysis about the New England Revolution as well as European and international soccer.

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