Big Year for USWNT

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Anne-Marie Sorvin-USA TODAY Spor

US Women's Soccer: World Cup Champions (Photo Courtesy of USA Today)

Nicole Truong, Sports Editor

The USWNT had a big year in 2015, headlined by its World Championship title after winning the FIFA Women’s World Cup this past summer. 2015 was a big year filled with many victories, as well as many goodbyes to the players who retired. Here is a look back on the past year for the USWNT.

 

Over the summer, the US Women’s soccer team, previously ranked second in the world, competed in the FIFA Women’s World Cup. During group play, many doubted the team after its less than dominant performance against subpar teams. However, the USWNT still won their group, defeating Australia 3-1 and Nigeria 1-0 and tying Sweden 0-0. After, the team advanced to the Round of 16 and defeated Colombia 2-0. Then, in the quarterfinals, the US defeated China 1-0 to advance to the semi-finals, where they faced their most difficult opponent in the entire tournament: Germany, who was previously ranked first in the world and who dominated group play, scoring 15 goals in 3 matches. After a hard-fought game by both sides, the USWNT came out victorious, winning 2-0. The team now faced Japan in the finals. In the last World Cup in 2011, the USWNT faced Japan and lost in heartbreaking fashion in PK’s. Now, the team had a chance for redemption. This time around, there was no need to go into even over time, as the USWNT dominated the game, quickly scoring four goals in less than eleven minutes, the fastest four goals in Women’s World Cup history, and ultimately defeating the Japanese 5-1.

 

This World Cup was the last for many of the US players, including legend Abby Wambach. Lauren Holiday, Shannon Boxx, and Lori Chalupny also retired in 2015. After their victory, the USWNT ended the 16-year championship drought and is the first team in the world to win three world cups. They are also now ranked number 1 in the entire world. The team celebrated their tremendous victory with a 10-game victory tour and many parades. The USWNT was the first to be honored with a ticker-tape parade in the Canyon of Heroes in New York as well.

 

Following the World Cup, the USWNT won the Best Team award at this year’s ESPYS. To cap off their fantastic year, Coach Jill Ellis was named Women’s Coach of the Year and superstar captain Carli Lloyd won the Ballon d’Or for Best Female Player at this year’s FIFA awards. Ellis became the second US coach to win this title, and Lloyd is the third US women’s player to be awarded this honor as well.

 

YLHS Women’s Varsity player Emily Does (11) states that “I have loved watching the USWNT play this year. They have had a fantastic season, and although I am sad to see Wambach go, I can only look forward to the new stars as they play in this year’s summer Olympics.” So US Soccer fans, although 2015 may be over, the USWNT will continue to dominate as the world’s best team, as they look to defend their gold at the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Olympics.