July 26, 2012
By Michael Lewis
NEVER SAY DIE
US women just wonít give up
GLASGOW -- It has been the cornerstone of the U.S. Women's National Team since its first game in 1985: Never give up.
|Abby Wambach: "The fact that we grinded it out, came back and had four unanswered goals, thatís a little demoralizing for any opponent."
Linda Cuttone/Sports Vue Images
When France shocked the United States by taking a 2-0 lead ony 14 minutes into the match on Wednesday, Alex Morgan and Abby Wambach took matters into their own hands, or rather feet and head.
Morgan said that she and "Abby looked at each other and said, ĎAll right, a goal each.'
The American dynamic duo did themselves one better. Morgan scored a brace and Wambach had one to help the U.S. to a 4-2 comeback triumph over the French in an Olympic women's soccer Group G encounter at Hampden Park.
"Going up two goals against us is quite a feat in my opinion," Wambach said. "The fact that we grinded it out, came back and had four unanswered goals, thatís a little demoralizing for any opponent truthfully. Iím proud of us. This team, no matter what bumps we approach, we hop over them together."
The U.S. players said that nerves got to them in the early part of the match.
"It was more than a wake-up call," captain Christie Rampone said. "One goal was enough."
Before halftime, the U.S. managed to pull even on Wambach's header in the 19th minute off a Megan Rapinoe corner kick (one of her three assists) and Morgan's 32nd-minute score off goalkeeper Hope Solo's long punt.
"We're the best team in the world," said Carli Lloyd, who scored the game-winner in the 56th minute. "If anyone can come back from a two-goal deficit it's us."
She got no argument from Solo.
Some teams would have folded like a beach chair down by two goals. But the Americans realized they plenty of time -- some 76 minutes -- to get back into the match. They did more than that. After halftime, they dominated most of the second half. The French applied pressure for the final 15 minutes, something you would expect by a trailing team.
"It's the commitment to each other on this team," Rampone said. "It's not doing it individually. It shows that we are commited to each other. This team, young, old, all different creative personalities out there. We all know we need each other. We relied on each other at that moment instead of trying to do it individually. This team has grown a lot over the years."