Scores of people watched at the University of Portland Thursday as the American women’s soccer team defeated Japan for the Olympic gold medal. USA star Megan Rapinoe is a UP graduate. But another player with Northwest ties might’ve been more critical to the win.
Rapinoe was benched with thirty minutes left. Washington alum Hope Solo was goalie for the whole game. With ten minutes left, a Japanese player broke through the defense, only to have Solo block her shot with a diving save. You could hear worry in the UP auditorium – and then elation – as the play unfolded.
Jessie Fannin was among the overjoyed fans at UP’s Buckley Center.
Fannin: “Glad to see us win. We deserved it, I think.”
Fannin’s friend, Alicia Faivre, watched decked out in UP purple and patriotic face paint. She liked watching Rapinoe in the Olympics.
Faivre: “We’ve actually had a few parties where we’ve all woken up early and watched the games. Yeah, it’s been fun watching her.”
Copyright 2012 Oregon Public Broadcasting