Bainbridge Lady Cats soccer coach weighs in on U.S. Women’s World Cup victory

Published 6:46 pm Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Bainbridge High School Lady Cats soccer coach Chip Ariail said Sunday’s 5-2 soccer World Cup victory over Japan was a credit to the strong rise of women’s soccer interest in this country.

Carli Lloyd, who had a three-goal hat trick to lead the United States ladies World Cup team to victory over Japan and the 2015 Women’s Federation International Football Association FIFA World Cup championship at a packed 53,341 crowd at BC Place Stadium in Vancouver British Columbia Canada, is one of three Players coach Ariail thinks have sparked that rise.

Lloyd, a striker and the United States captain, scored her hat trick within 16 minutes, giving her the fastest ever hat trick in Women’s World Cup play. One of her goals came   from the halfway line. She won the prestigious Golden Ball Award.

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The United States ladies, who had won previous World Cup championships in 1991 and 1999, became the first country to win the World Cup three times.

The 1999 champions, known as the girls of summer, were led by Mia Hamm and another group of tenacious players.

This year, the Americans saved their best performance for last against Japan.

With her team leading 4-0, United States goal keeper Hope Solo finally gave up a goal in the 27th minute when Japan’s Yuki Ogimi fired a shot past her to cut the advantage to 4-1.

After their World Cup-winning performance Sunday night, the American players grabbed American flags from the crowd, draped them over their shoulders and danced on the field.

Legend Abby Wambach was particularly emotional after playing her last World Cup match. When she entered the game in the 79th minute, Carli Lloyd gave her the captain’s armband as a gesture of respect.

Coach Ariail said Wambach and Mia Hamm along with Carli Lloyd have done more to elevate women’s soccer in the United States to its current high state than anyone else.

“Abby Wambach, who played at the University of Florida, and Mia Hamm, who played at the University of North Carolina, were also on the 1991 and 1999 World Cup champions and were the first U.S. women to win three World Cups,” Ariail said. “College women’s soccer is strong throughout the south. The Florida State University Lady Seminoles won the women’s soccer college national championship in the fall of 2014.”

Sundays United States women’s World Cup victory over Japan avenged Japan’s victory over the United States in the 2012 summer Olympics in London. The match ended 2-2 in regulation time, but Japan won 3-1 in an extra time best of four shootout.