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Posts Tagged ‘Women’s Football’

An exciting weekend in international sports as Beijing gets started. It’s only been just over three days and we’ve already seen some incredible performances. Below are some highlights of what’s happened for the women over the weekend, broken down by sport.

I thoroughly enjoy the positive impact that Wikipedia has made on my life, as well as to the quality and access of information available. Therefore, trusting the online contributors, I took what’s there and compiled a list of updates on women’s performances from the weekend. If you have anything to add, please do so in the comments field at the bottom of this post.

Friday, 8/8

Soccer:

Norway beat defending champion United States 2–0 in group G for soccer (women’s football).

Norwegian striker Leni Larsen Kaurin‘s second-minute goal was the fastest-ever goal in the women’s Olympic football tournament.[2] Meanwhile, reigning World Cup champion Germany drew 0–0 with Brazil in group F.[3] Host China won its opening game by beating Sweden 2–1 in group E.[4]

Saturday, 8/9

Archery:

South Korea set an Olympic record in the ranking round of women’s team archery.

Weight lifting:

Chen Xiexia of China won the Women’s 48 kilogram (that’s 105 lbs) Weightlifting competition, successfully completing all her attempts winning the gold with 95kg (209 lbs) in the snatch and 117kg (257.4 lbs) in the Clean and Jerk for a total of 212kg (466.4 lbs) a new Olympic Record.

Fencing:

The United States swept the medals in the women’s sabre event, the first U.S. podium sweep of a fencing event since 1904. Mariel Zagunis took gold.

Soccer:

Norway qualifies for the quarterfinals of the women’s football tournament with a 1–0 win over New Zealand.

Air Rifle:

Kateřina Emmons of the Czech Republic wins the first gold medal of the games, setting an Olympic record for both the qualifying (with a perfect 400) and final scores, in the women’s 10 m air rifle.

Sunday, August 10

Archery:

South Korea set a world record for a 24-arrow team match, in their victory over Italy in the quarter finals of the women’s team archery event.

Air Pistol:

Guo Wenjun of China wins gold in women’s 10 metre air pistol and sets a new Olympic record for final score with 492.3 points, after Natalia Paderina of Russia had bettered the Olympic qualification record to 391.

During the medal ceremony, Pederina and bronze medalist Nino Salukvadze of Georgia shared a symbolic embrace as their two countries continued to war; the two had been friends since they both competed for the Soviet Union. (see picture to the right)

Swimming:

Australian swimmer Stephanie Rice sets a new world record in women’s 400 m individual medley, winning Australia’s 400th Summer Olympics medal. Second place Kirsty Coventry of Zimbabwe also finished below the previous world record.

The Netherlands team wins women’s 4 x 100 m freestyle relay final with a new Olympic record of 3:33.76.

Darra Torres won the silver in the 400m Free Relay.

Weight lifting:

Prapawadee Jaroenrattanatarakoon of Thailand wins gold in women’s 53 kg weightlifting and sets a new Olympic record for clean and jerk. This is Thailand’s first medal in the 2008 games

Cycling:

Nicole Cooke of Great Britan took the gold medal in the Women’s Road race.

Women’s Springboard:

Guo Jingjing and Wu Minxia of China took the gold medal in the women’s synchronized springboard competition.

Judo:

Xian Dongmei of China took the women’s Judo gold medal.

Swimming:

Inge Dekker, Ranomi Kromowidjojo,Femke Heemskerk, Marleen Veldhuis of the Netherlands took the gold medal in the women’s 4x100m freestyle relay.

… and much more to come later.

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This morning, Christie Rampone, captain of the U.S. Women’s Soccer team, led our country’s finest soccer players to compete in the preliminaries against Norway at 7:45am ET.

But back in 1997, Christie Rampone was not the leader of Team USA. In fact, she was a senior at Monmouth University facing a very difficult decision.

Before attending Monmouth, Rampone had graduated Point Pleasant Borough High School as finest female athlete ever in Ocean County history and was named the New Jersey Female Athlete of the Year. She received a full scholarship to play basketball for Monmouth University, a small-division one school in West Long Branch, NJ. At Monmouth, Rampone competed in two sports, basketball and soccer. But she was a point guard, and basketball was her number one sport.

So why had she just received a fax from U.S. soccer inviting her to training camp?

Turns out then U.S. head coach Tony DiCicco had seen Pearce play in a college match, and he was looking for attackers that he could convert into backs. He decided to take a chance on the 5-foot-6 striker from the Jersey Shore.

But she was right in the middle of her conference basketball season as a senior captain. How could she abandon what she had been working hard on for three years?

She talked to a lot of people at Monmouth, who advised her that his is an opportunity she couldn’t pass up. So she went – and she hung in there with gold medalists. DiCicco called her two weeks later and invited her to travel with the USA to Australia that February.

She said,

“I was committed to two teams. One is your dream, and one is your scholarship, your senior year. Sometimes you are faced with life choices that have long-term consequences, but you just don’t know it at the time. It was scary going into that first camp, but to accomplish great things you have to be brave.”

And from there, she only got better and better.

Rampone went on to make the historic 1999 Women’s World Cup Team, which played its first match of that tournament in front of a sold out crowd at Giants Stadium in New Jersey. Now, eleven years lated, at 33 years of age, Rampone has achieved more success than anyone back in NJ could have dreamed.

I couldn’t say it any better than Center Circle,

“[Rampone] is a mother to precocious three-year-old daughter Rylie and an excellent role model for her teammates and the thousands of girls and women playing across the USA, especially those who play at small schools on the New Jersey coast.”

Congratulations, Christie. New Jersey, Monmouth (and the rest of the country) are extremely proud of you.

(Last I checked on today’s game, it was 2-0 Norway, but I don’t have an official score yet).

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Here’s a bit of news that you wouldn’t find on any mainstream sports blogs…

Claiming the 2008 World Championship of Women’s Football, the H-Town Cyclones beat the West Michigan Mayhem 39-10. This is the first time in history the South has won the Women’s Football championship.

Rassin McIntosh took home Offensive MVP (first picture, below) and Renee Cosby took home Devensive MVP (second picture, below)

To be honest, I didn’t even know that the NWFA exited until today. This is a sport that displays aggression and strategy, and could really use some publicity, particularly online.

NWFA has teams located in most major cities (check out their site).

Some interesting information about the NWFA:

“The NWFA was formed in August, 2000 by well known sports and entertainment entrepreneur, Catherine Masters. Masters, who has more than 25 years experience in the top levels of these industries, decided it was time for women to have the chance to play full contact football in a well organized and professionally run league. Starting with two teams, the Nashville Dream and the Alabama Renegades, the league held a pre-season showcase of six games. This pre-season ran from October 14, 2000 until December 2, 2000. The pre-season was a rousing success with thousands of fans in the stands and incredible support from the media worldwide.

In the years that followed, the NWFA expanded to include over 40 teams from Maine to Florida and from Baltimore to the West Coast and everything in between.”

Very, very cool. Who is going to be the first to start an NWFA team in Washington, DC?

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When I say “soccer,” that’s really my ignorant American culture coming out. What I meant to say is “football,” as that is the official name for the 2008 competition on the national arena.

This could be the year for USA. With a roster packed with a new coach (Sundhage) and a combination of youth and experience, the girls will be a tough tournament knock-out. According to Fifa.com,

Beijing 2008 represents an opportunity for the United States to win a world title for the first time since they beat Brazil in Athens four years ago. Unable to reach the final of the last two FIFA Women’s World Cups, their reputation is on the line.

The U.S. national team took their eighth CONCACAF championship in the qualifying stages for Beijing 2008.

Who is leading the pack? Let’s take a close look at number 20, striker Abby Wambach. At 5’11,” this “towering” Rochester, NY native has established herself as the most formidable offensive player on the U.S. Women’s National Team, and has been described as practically unstoppable.

According to Abbywambach.com, Abby was the USA’s leading scorer in the 2003 Women’s World Cup, with three goals, including a critical header in the team’s 1-0 quarterfinal win over Norway. She entered the 2004 Athens Olympic Games with an impressive streak of 14 goals in 16 games.

My favorite fact about Abby: she played in her first youth league at age four, and was transferred from the girls’ to the boys’ team after scoring 27 goals in three games. An early sign of a true athlete.

She went on to play for the University of Florida, where she set school career records for goals (96), assists (49), points (241), game-winning goals (24) and hat tricks (10). Then, she joined the national team in 2001 at the age of 21.

Team USA takes on their first competitor, Norway, on August 6th, then Japan on August 9th, and New Zealand on August 12th. The winners go on to advance to final rounds in late August, where the excitement begins.

One thing’s for sure, come August, I’m going to be watching number 20.

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