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US women's soccer

It may have been a rematch of the 2011 World Cup finals, but it certainly was not a repeat. The US women’s soccer team more than just avenged their loss four years ago against Japan and stormed to a World Cup championship with an 5-2 victory.

In just 15 minutes star midfielder Carli Lloyd completed a hat trick to give the Americans a 4-0 lead. It was the fastest hat trick in women’s World Cup history.

Set plays were a huge part of the team’s early success. Lloyd scored a header off a corner kick in the third minute. In the fifth minute she struck again. And in the 14th Lauren Holiday scored.

It all came so fast but the most impressive goal of the early onslaught was Lloyd’s third. Just moments off the re-start following Holiday’s goal, Lloyd was all by herself and ripped the ball from midfield, caught the Japanese goalkeeper way out of position and put it over her head in the 16th minute to give the Americans a 4-0 lead.

USA was not going to allow there to be another disappointing end to a World Cup and came out on fire.

To Japan’s credit, they fought back hard. In the 27th minute the Japanese worked their way to a pretty simple goal to end USA’s shutout streak. Possession and set-up passing was the key for them. They were able to withstand the US pressure for the rest of the first half and attempted their comeback. Late in the first half they lined up for a dangerous free kick opportunity but the American defense refused to let them get the goal.

Japan has to wait until 52nd minute to get another goal. On a free kick opportunity lofted over the American defense, Julie Johnston got her head on it but unfortunately she only deflected it back and the opposite way Hope Solo took her initial step. Solo nearly made it across the goal to keep the ball out of the next but it went in, and it became a 4-2 game after the own goals.

That would be as close as the Americans would let it go, though. The US midfield showed their superiority, keeping possession for long periods of time and keeping the pressure on. The defense would not crack despite strong efforts from Japan.

In the 54th minute, Tobin Heath joined in on the action. A scramble in front of the goal, Heath got free and put it in the net, solidifying the American’s greatest goal total in the World Cup final.

Over the final 40 minutes, both teams fought, but the Americans just were not going to allow their opponent to get any sort of momentum.

In the final minutes, veterans Abby Wambach and Christie Rampone were both put in for what is sure of their their final World Cup game. The two long-time stars walk on the field with the victory ensured and walked off Champions. For Rampone it was her second time as World Cup Champion. In 1999 she was just 24 and known as Christie Pearce. For everybody else, it was their first and their display of just how great the American women’s soccer team is.

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Corey Johns

Editor in Chief
You could say Corey was born to become a sports journalist. His father won a national championship coaching college soccer. His mother is a baseball fanatic who hasn't missed seeing an Orioles game since 1983 (literally, sometimes it's annoying). His great uncle was a big-time boxing promoter and his maternal grandfather was once a department head at the Baltimore Sun. Basically, sports and journalism run through his blood. He played just about every little league sports there was when he was a kid and was a multi-sport athlete in high school; even playing in the first-ever high school sanction Rugby game in the country. Eventually he retired from sports as an undefeated Maryland state Rugby champion as a high school senior. Perhaps lack of athletic talent has more to do with the retirement, but he will tell you that it more had to do with a great desire to jump right into media. Upon his graduation from University of Maryland, Baltimore County as a triple communications major, Corey started the So Much Sports network and has continued to grow his websites and continues to work to make them premier sports media outlets.

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