US Women’s National Soccer Team puts on offense-heavy show at FAU, defeats China PR 4-1


Mohamed Abdihakim

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   In front of a FAU Football Stadium crowd of 10,493, the U.S. Women’s National Soccer Team defeated China PR by a score of 4-1 in the final game of the Fan Tribute Tour.

Abby Wambach led the way with two goals, the other goals being scored later on by Megan Rapinoe and Sydney Leroux.

“It was a great game, they really are the best team in the world,” Allison Kaysley, a senior biology major, said, referring to the U.S. team being the number one ranked women’s squad in international soccer. “They’re unbelievable. I’d never seen them play [in person] before this, and I’m glad I got to [see them].”

Tonight’s sparse attendance was surprising, considering the U.S. is now the best team in women’s international soccer. A whole section of the stadium, just to the right of the press box, was completely vacant.

Forward Abby Wambach heads the ball during the first half. Photo by Ryan Murphy .

On the field, this game was another display of the U.S. women’s offensive prowess. The team would start the match in a formation that handed four players (out of the starting eleven) forward duties.

Twelve seconds after the first half whistle started the game, the U.S. managed to get their first decent chance. U.S. player Carli Lloyd found herself with the ball in a manageable position, but couldn’t finish as her shot went wide of the goal. Regardless of the miss, Lloyd’s effort would be the first among many bursts of offense China PR would have to deal with.

Winger Alex Morgan set up Wambach’s first goal. Both players inched closer to significant statistical marks.

By the end of the game, Wambach’s two goals raised the tally between the pair of forwards to 55 goals for the year. Wambach has scored 28 in 2012, with Morgan accounting for the other 27. As a result, they tied Michelle Akers and Karen Gabarra for the most goals scored between two U.S. players. Wambach would be substituted out before she could score her third.

The crowd seemed to cheer particularly loudly in reaction to a U.S. goal in the 36th minute. The score came on a miscue by the China PR defense. Some pressure from the U.S. forced China PR’s goalkeeper, Zhang Yue, to make an ill-advised pass. The ball landed at midfielder Megan Rapinoe’s feet, with Yue almost outside of her own penalty box. As China PR’s goalkeeper scrambled back to her goal, Rapinoe had an instant to take action.

In that instant, the US midfielder quickly set feet, took one look at her target ,and fired a controlled goal from 42 yards out.

“It was an amazing shot,” Andrew Haynes, a junior management information systems major, said. “First time I’ve seen something like that live.”

“Beautiful pass from the goalkeeper,” Rapinoe jokingly said of her shot.

For two members of the U.S. National Team, this was a return visit to FAU Football Stadium.

Wambach played with goalkeeper Hope Solo on MagicJack of Women’s Professional Soccer, using FAU Football Stadium for home games. Playing in Boca again brought back fond memories for her.

“What a great crowd. What a fantastic stadium,” Wambach said. “You never know what you miss until you come back after a long absence.”