Soccer games unofficially kick off Olympics

WALNUT CREEK, Calif. - Though the 2012 London Olympic Games' official start is this Friday, July 27 with the Opening Ceremonies, the women's soccer Olympic games kick off today with group play. Twelve teams begin their quest for an Olympic medal, including the United States, Canada, Colombia and New Zealand, countries that all feature Pac-12 athletes.

New Zealand took to the pitch at 8 a.m. PT. With the help of Betsey Hassett (CAL), Ali Riley (STAN) and Rosie White (UCLA), NZ takes on Great Britain for the first round of Group E action. At 9 a.m. PT, Chelsea Stewart (UCLA) and her Canadian teammates take on Japan in Group F.

Also at 9 a.m. PT, USA, featuring nine Pac-12 athletes, battles France in Group G at 9 a.m. PT. On the roster wearing the red, white and bluw are Nicole Barnhart (STAN), Rachel Buehler (STAN), Lauren Cheney (UCLA), Amy LePeilbet (ASU), Sydney Leroux (UCLA), Alex Morgan (CAL), Kelley O'Hara (STAN), Amy Rodriguez (USC) and Hope Solo (WASH).

Later in the day, Anna Maria Montoya (ARIZ) and Colombia play DPR Korea at 11:45 a.m. PT.

After the women's soccer games, the only other Pac-12 athlete beginning her quest for gold is Alison Williamson (ASU), who's archery competition begins earlier in the day on Friday, July 27.

Follow all the Pac-12 Olympic coverage on www.pac-12.org, including daily features, updates and medal counts. "Like" the Pac-12 on Facebook and follow on Twitter at @Pac12. For detailed schedules of competition, visit www.london2012.com. Television and online viewing listings can be found at www.nbcolympics.com.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012 - London Olympics
Women's Soccer Group Play

Great Britain vs. New Zealand (Group E) - 8 a.m. PT
Japan vs. Canada (Group F) - 9 a.m. PT
United States vs. France (Group G) - 9 a.m. PT
Colombia vs. DPR Korea (Group G) - 11:45 a.m. PT

Bold indicates team with Pac-12 athletes.

Now on Pac-12 Network
1:30 AM PT

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