For the first time in 16 years, the United States has won the 2015 Women’s World Cup. On Sunday, July 5th, the U.S. handily beat defending championship Japan by a score of 5-2. A hat trick from midfielder Carli Lloyd, including a goal from the halfway line, propelled a revenge-seeking U.S. team. It had been a long wait for veterans like Lloyd. In the 2011 Women’s World Cup, Japan defeated the United States in the finals in penalty kicks.
Entering the tournament, the U.S. were not FIFA’s top ranked team. That belonged to Germany, and after a shaky group stage, everyone wanted to write the Yanks off. Pundits were quick to point out an uninventive style, former head coach Pia Sundhage called out several players, and the team looked like it could be headed for a quick exit. The so-called Group of Death was taking its toll on the team. Yet the team was resilient and so were the growing number of fans. After difficult tests versus Colombia and China, and a victory against top ranked Germany, a rematch with Japan was in store.
What a game it was. From the opening minutes, the U.S. set the tone, pressing high up the field, clearly looking for the first goal. Captain Carli Lloyd netted in the 3rd and 5th minute, before completing her hat trick in the 16th minute. Lauren Holiday added a goal in the 12th minute, putting the score at 4-0. At no point did the U.S. look threatened. The lead allowed longtime veterans Christie Rampone and Abby Wambach to see the field one final time before departing into retirement.
The U.S. Women shattered TV records, breaking previous and challenging some of the world’s most watched events. The final recorded over 25 million viewers, nearly tying Game 7 of the 2014 World Series and beating Game 6 of the 2015 NBA Finals. The hope from here is that the Boston Breakers and NWSL will begin to reap the rewards of another strong outing by the National Team. The Breakers have bounced around from several professional leagues, but are now firmly entrenched in the National Women’s Soccer League. The league boasts every member of the Women’s National Team except the retiring Wambach. The star power of Alex Morgan, Carli Lloyd, Julie Johnston and Morgan Brian can draw even bigger crowds than recorded. In the previous professional women’s soccer leagues, the biggest issue has been attendance. However, interest in women’s soccer isn’t dwindling. In the past decade the National Team has only grown in interest. Hopefully, the next few years will see a continued resurgence in professional women’s soccer.
On June 17th, the New England Revolution were knocked out of the U.S. Open Cup by the Charlotte Independence of the USL. Yet, it represented a step forward for the club. 19 year old Zachary Herivaux made his professional debut for the club, entering at a substitute in the 87th minute. Herivaux was the Revolution’s Academy Player of the Year in 2014 and captained the u18 team. He attended Beaver Country Day School in Chestnut Hill for his high school career. Herivaux is a lanky midfielder who can create as well as defend. He’s one to keep an eye on..
Nat Brown was a soccer player at Beaver Country Day School. He will begin college in the fall.