What an exciting game today between the United States and Brazil in the FIFA Women's World Cup quarterfinals! After 120 minutes of soccer and penalty kicks, the US Women's team will be moving on to play France in the semifinals after narrowly beating Brazil. This game was filled with excitement; 4 goals, 8 yellow cards, 1 red card, 8 made penatly kicks in the shootout and 1 amazing penalty kick save by the great American keeper Hope Solo. Such a great game between two world powers that will go down, along with the 1999 FIFA Women's World Cup final versus China, in US Women's Soccer history as one of the best games ever played. This game showed the heart of the US Women's team and not even going down a player after a red card to Rachel Buehler or going down a goal in overtime would stop the US team from moving on to a semifinal date with France on Wednesday. Such a great and well deserved win for the US.
While the US game was going on, the Dayton Dutch Lions had a game at 2pm so we were all bummed to be missing one of the greatest games in womens soccer history. Kay, Emily, Logan, and I drove up to Dayton early to watch the first half of the game with some of our teammates at the Dutch Lions office. Let me tell you, there is no better way to get pumped for your own game than to watch a game between two great teams before!! The US took the lead 1-0 after an own goal misclearance by the Brazilian defense after a Shannon Boxx cross and as we left for our own game at halftime all we could think about was if the score would hold. Luckily, we arrived to the stadium early and had time to gametracker the game until Brazil scored an equilizer off of a penalty kick after a red card was issued to US defender Rachel Buehler. It was nice to have game tracker on my phone but even nicer to have my mom giving me play-by-play commentary when I would call her to find out what exactly happened on certain plays!!
We left the locker room to go warm up with the game tied 1-1, anxiously waiting to hear updates. We continued to warm up and secretly getting updates from parents without our coaches noticing!! Right before we started our possession game we were devestated to hear the US was down 2-1 in the second minute of overtime but we still had faith (and HOPE of course!!) in our team. We headed on to the field to start the game with the US team down 2-1 with only minutes remaining in overtime and it had looked as if the US' World Cup run was about to be over. We were quickly proved wrong...Never, ever underestimate the power and determination of the US Women's team!
About 5 minutes into the start of our game there was an annoucement over the sound system informing us that Abby Wambach had scored in the 121st minute tying the game! The final spot in the semifinals would be determined by penatly kicks! Trying to focus on our own game, the Dutch Lions scored a goal early on and maintained possession for a majority of the game to beat Northern Virginia 2-0. It was a hot, humid day but it was great to get 90 minutes in the heat to prepare for preseason which starts in a few weeks!!
Midway through the first half the sound system came back on and announced the US had beat Brazil 5-3 on penalty kicks in the shootout and the crowd went nuts! Such a great accomplishment for a team that has worked so hard and has never given up. The US' slogan for the World Cup says "Pressure makes us" and that is exactly what happened, when things get tough and the US is put under pressure they rise to the occasion and against all odds the US finds a way to win. The US has been put under a lot of pressure to get to this point in the World Cup, narrowly making it into the tournament after losing in the semifinals to Mexico in the CONCACAF qualifying tournament, winning a home-away aggregate series versus Italy to be the final team in the World Cup tournament, losing to Sweden in the final game of group play and coming from behind to beat Brazil in penalty kicks after playing 50 minutes of the game down a player!! The US team has never given up and rightfully deserves a place in the semifinals!
After missing the whole second half, overtime, and PK's, Logan, Kay, and I rushed to the car to watch the highlights on my phone. When Abby Wambach scored that goal in the 121st minute of the game off of a PERFECT Megan Rapinoe cross to tie the game up I got chills. What a great goal to keep the US hopes alive! Watching the team celebrate before heading to PK's made me so excited to start the UC season back up and create our own celebrations after games!
Well I am off to get some things done before I can watch the US game vs Brazil being replayed at midnight!! It's going to be hard to wake up for 7am workouts tomorrow morning but I'm sure it will be worth it after watching some of the highlights already!! Make sure to tune in to the US game versus France in the World Cup semifinals on Wednesday at noon, you won't be disappointed!!
GO BEARCATS--RAWRRRRR and GO USAAAAAAAAAAA :)