Tokyo 2020: Daily Pac-12 guide to the Olympic Games (July 30)
A goal by Sam Mewis (UCLA) helped Team USA defeat the Netherlands in the quarterfinals of women’s soccer Friday. The U.S. won a shootout, 4-2, following a 2-2 draw.
After finishing fifth at the Rio Games in 2016, the women’s team will look to add to its medal collection.
The U.S. has won four of the six gold medals issued since women's soccer was added to the Olympic sports lineup in 1996.
Coming out of the half with a 2-1 lead, Carli Lloyd had the chance to extend the U.S. advantage in the 53rd minute, but could not control the well-placed cross from Lindsey Horan. The Netherlands made them pay, as Vivianne Miedema scored her second goal less than 60 seconds after Lloyd’s missed chance.
In extra time, three more goals were ruled offside. And so the fate of the U.S. would be decided the same way it was in 2016 – penalties.
Miedema went first for Netherlands, but U.S. goalie Allysa Naeher dove correctly to her right and saved the first penalty kick. Rose Lavelle and Alex Morgan (CALIFORNIA) converted their penalties for the U.S. as did Dominique Janssen and Stefanie van der Gragt for the Dutch.
Christen Press (STANFORD) redeemed her miss from 2016 with a confident strike to the left, before Naeher saved Aniek Nouwen’s attempt from the spot.
Few were better suited for the moment than Megan Rapinoe, as she sent the Dutch goalkeeper the wrong way and scored the penalty, sending the U.S. to the semifinals.
After the match, Rapinoe praised Naeher’s performance in the closing moments of the shootout.
“Obviously to take a penalty from them in the run of play is huge. And then to take two in the shoot-out, that just made it so easy for us,” Rapinoe said. “With them going first, and taking that first one, it takes the pressure off the team. She’s been immense.”
USA will face Canada in the semifinals Monday, August 2 at 1 a.m. PT.
» In swimming, Ryan Murphy (CALIFORNIA) won silver in the men’s 200-meter backstroke. Lilly King and Annie Lazor earned silver and bronze respectively in the women’s 200 breaststroke.
» Team USA defeated the Russian Olympic Committee in its fourth group stage match in women’s water polo,18-5. Maggie Steffens (STANFORD) and Stephania Haralabidis (USC) starred in the dominant performance, with both scoring four goals.
» In rowing, the U.S. men’s eights team finished fourth in the final race, as did the U.S. women’s eights team. Ben Davison (WASHINGTON), Austin Hack (STANFORD) and Julian Venonsky (CALIFORNIA) competed for the men; Katelin Guregian (WASHINGTON), Brooke Mooney (WASHINGTON) and Jessica Thoennes (WASHINGTON) competed for the women.
» The U.S. women’s volleyball team defeated Turkey in a group stage match 3-2. The U.S. won the first two sets before Turkey stormed back to force a final set. Turkey led 10-9 in the final set, but Foluke Akinradewo (STANFORD) and the U.S. battled back to win the set and the match.
Looking Ahead: The U.S. men’s basketball team will face Czech Republic in its group stage matchup at 2:00 a.m. PT.
Quote of the Day: “I am deeply, deeply proud of myself and my teammates, and my coaches and the women that aren't in my boat, that are on my team that are back home that aren’t here at this regatta.
"To get here took an inordinate amount of effort and belief in ourselves and each other. And I have said this to the group and I would do the whole five years over again, even knowing what the result would be. That's how much these women mean to me. That's how much lining up at the Olympics with these eight strong, independent, incredible women - that's how much that means to me. And it's the honor of my lifetime. And I wouldn't give it up for anything.” – Katelin Guregian (WASHINGTON) about the fourth place finish in women’s eight by the U.S. rowing team
Kenneth Manoj is a journalism student at Arizona State University. This story is part of a collaboration between the Pac-12 Conference and ASU's Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication.