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Three Down, Three To Go. USWNT Eyes Quarterfinals vs New Zealand
Posted By: Carie Small
August 1, 2012
WSN Guest Blogger, Amy Maestri’s reactions after the USWNT vs Korea DPR women’s soccer match
Within the first three minutes of the USWNT vs North Korea match up on Wednesday I knew a win was in the cards for the red white and blue. Not because of my confidence in our skill and determination, or our explosive weapons in battle such as Alex Morgan and Abby Wambach. No, I knew we were going to win because I saw…**Jaws theme music**…The Heather O’Reilly Game Face. For those of you who have not seen this face, I would recommend watching the next game and waiting for the magic to happen. The Face came out and so did the USA, with a winning score of 1-0.
I have been waiting to see this very recognizable side of Heather O’Reilly since the games began. With no minutes in the match against France and not her best performance against Colombia, I have been anxiously awaiting this moment. This is the side of O’Reilly that has made her my favorite player for the past 5 years. She was strong on tackles, speedy up the sidelines, getting back to defend, sending in crosses and putting every last ounce of her being on the field for a loose ball. She had no goals or assists today, but definitely made her mark.
Our midfield shined in the first half. O’Reilly with her beast-ness, Carli Lloyd with her attacking prowls, Lauren Cheney with her calmness and ability over the ball and Tobin Heath, Megan Rapinoe and Amy Rodriguez all making appearances as well showing what they can do on the pitch. Cheney had another solid game, even with North Korean players basically hanging off of her like a group of monkeys swinging from a tree. She had a physical battle raging against her all game and came out on top with a sparkling midfield display.
Alex Morgan had another playmaking game. No goal but had the assist to Abby Wambach for our only goal of the match. I can guarantee Morgan will be one hungry Baby Horse in the next match. She’s going to come out like a starving animal attacking prey. The opposing team’s defense better not show blood for their own sake. Because Morgan is going to be a SHARK. The goal from Abby was nothing short of clinical from start to finish. Morgan’s back to goal work and decision making skills in the box while under pressure do not show us your typical 23 year old forward. Her ability to stay calm, observe her choices quickly and make the wise play shows us what Hope Solo mentioned in the conference call last week. Solo stated we shouldn’t go by years but by experience and how they play. Morgan plays with knowledge and instinct that seems to far surpass her years. Then we have Wambach’s ability to do what she was born to do; SCORE LIKE A CHAMPION. After receiving the composed pass from Morgan in the box she slotted it home past the keeper with a textbook finish. With Wambach nearing Mia Hamm’s record for career goals it gets more and more exciting. You can feel that Abby won’t let any opportunities pass for her to get closer to the legend, Hamm. She wants a gold medal for herself and for her team more than anything right now and the closer she gets to Hamm’s record; the closer she is to helping achieve that.
After all of the over-blown media ridiculousness surrounding Hope Solo’s comments about commentator, Brandi Chastain, I was hoping to see a patented Hope Solo gravity and logic defying save today to shut every one up. But our defense did their job and protected our girl, Hope, from incoming fire. If the media want to harp on the comments that’s fine with me. But I, along with other fans, will continue to just enjoy our favorite team dominate and play with the USA spirit that we love. And personally, I love that Solo speaks her mind. She has every right to and further more; it’s funny! It’s refreshing to see it and I love that she comes out blazing on all cylinders. She works it on the field and doesn’t hold back off the field either. Get it, girl!
With this win the USA wins first place in their group and move into the quarterfinals with some good notes to work on and some good confidence from where they’ve excelled. I would say my takeaways are that Abby’s shiner has not impaired her goal scoring vision. Christie Rampone is going to be a show stopper until she is 107 years old. Becky Sauerbrunn and her fully loaded guns, which she kept hidden under her sleeves today, deserve more minutes. Lloyd, Cheney and O’Reilly are all going BEAST on anyone who crosses their paths. And Hope Solo remains the most swaggerific goalkeeper on the planet.
Let’s take it to the semi’s ladies! Keep making us proud back home! Go USA!