Washington-born and raised goalkeeper Hope Solo saved the day, quite literally, according to her teammates in the Olympic women’s soccer final Thursday. Team USA held on for a 2-1 victory over Japan to win the gold medal. When the final horn sounded, U.S. goalie Solo was mobbed by her fellow players. Solo says she knew the game was on the line when she made a dramatic lunging save in the waning minutes of the game.
Solo: “I was hoping my time would come – not my time, but I want to make an impact on the game. Usually in every tournament in my experience there is a game where you have to make an impact. It hadn’t come in five games. So I was hoping it would come and I kind of had a feeling it would.”
The outspoken goalie was one of several stars on the U.S. team with Northwest ties. Several other players came from the the Seattle Sounders women’s team or the University of Portland.
The gold medal match drew more than eighty thousand fans to Wembley Stadium in London. That set a new record for a women's soccer game at the Olympics. Solo called the crowd “amazing.”
Solo: “I loved that it was mixed. You heard the Nippon cheers and you heard the USA chants. I don’t block out the crowd. I like to feel it. I like really to get into the emotion and the atmosphere of the game. So I thoroughly enjoyed playing here.”
U.S. soccer goalie Hope Solo hails from Richland, Washington.
Copyright 2012 Northwest Public Radio