Marietta’s Emily Sonnett and St. Simons’ Morgan Brian had pleasant homecomings as part of the U.S. women’s soccer team that defeated Netherlands 3-1 at the Georgia Dome on Sunday.
Brian, a midfielder, started and played 85 minutes before manager Jill Ellis subbed her off so that she could get a standing ovation.
“It’s such an honor to put on this jersey and play for your country, but to be able to do it in front of friends and family, you know it just means so much,” said Brian, who was making her 59th appearance with the national team.
Brian said she and Sonnett are going to move to Buckhead, where they may train with Atlanta United’s academy for the next six months. Brian said she has been training at Georgia Rush.
Sonnett came on at halftime as a defender in her 11th appearance for the national team. She had a headed shot on goal, but it sailed over the crossbar. Her parents and a sister attended the game.
Sonnett said she has only attended one sporting event at the Dome before Sunday’s game: an exhibition soccer match between A.C. Milan and Club America.
“It’s definitely super-cool to be in front of a home crowd in my home state,” she said.
Sonnett said she used to go to Atlanta Beat games at Kennesaw State, where she said she was U.S. forward Carli Lloyd’s No. 1 fan.
“It was so cool growing up and having a team to support,” she said.
A third player and native of Georgia, Fayetteville’s Kelley O’Hara, wasn’t with the team because of a death in the family.