United States women's soccer goalkeeper
Hope Solomade a beautiful save in the 72nd minute of the gold-medal game against Brazil, one of about 10 stops she made during the crucial match.
She said she would almost a year ago after not playing against Brazil in the World Cup. Now we believe her.
Solo and the rest of the defense led the United States to a 1-0 victory over Brazil and a gold medal in the Beijing Games. The lone goal was scored in extra time, when
Carli Lloydpoked one through in the 96th minute.
Solo and the defense then held on.
This is a big victory for the Americans, who probably weren't favored to win. Though they played well against Brazil in friendly matches leading up to Beijing, Brazil still had bragging rights until now.
"We've seen Brazil three times since that last match, but it wasn't the same," Solo said. "On the world stage is when teams really come to play so it sat with us a little bit but we were confident in our team defending, so I knew it going to be a different game altogether."
In some ways, the Olympics have been disappointing for the Americans (
Michael Phelpsaside). Softball lost a gold it was a huge favorite to win. Track and field has had several setbacks. Women's gymnastics lost the team competition to China.
Women's soccer provided a little relief in the post-swimming Olympics for the USA. It took us 100-plus minutes of action to figure it out, though U.S. defender
Lori Chalupnyknew long before that.
"We just look in each others' eyes and we believe and we know that we can do it," Chalupny said. "It's just a feeling that we have and nobody can break that bond. It's awesome."