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Posts Tagged ‘Women’s Soccer’

I must say – it’s exciting when you browse through the NCAA’s student-athlete blogs and come across an NCAA Division III blog from an athlete at your former college. I’m so glad to see Laura Delaney, the captain of the women’s soccer team at The College of New Jersey posting her thoughts on this season on NCAA.com.

You may not be as excited as I am, but I think this is a leap forward for both TCNJ and the NCAA, as least as far as editorial coverage of female sports is concerned. Providing student-athlete blogs across divisions of sport is a stellar idea. Each individual athlete has a personal idea and story and perspective to share with the world.

Newspapers  — if they’re smart — can draw content from these blogs and frame stories around them. Athletes — if they’re smart — will be completely honest. Athletic departments — if they’re smart — will not put heavy restrictions on what the athletes write.

Even though Laura has only written about four posts, the idea of this option for her is novel.

This is a great opportunity for Laura to find her own perspective on the season. Her blog can act as a personal diary – a measure of success in terms of attitude and outlook. She can push herself through the goals she sets and writes about and she can measure success based upon whether or not these goals were met.

Right now, TCNJ women’s soccer is 7-3-1 on the season. The three losses were to Smarthmore, Montclair State and Steven’s Tech.

In her October 10 post, just two days after her teams’ loss to Steven’s Tech, she provides some great commentary of what it’s like to be a captain in the face of adversity:

“It is hard to convince thirty girls that despite numerous setbacks, there is a chance to succeed and push beyond the limits of expectations. It was even harder to convince myself. I do not doubt for a second that my team is a group of talented, hardworking girls and together, as a group we can be successful. In both our wins and our losses of the season we have proven to be ample competitors but an underlying sense of restlessness and fear reside in our team mentality.”

Those words serve as a message to her team – she’s saying that she still believes in them and they need to get past their fears to become winners.

I hope this blog develops to be useful for her. I’m so happy to see she was chosen to write for NCAA, and I wish her and the rest of the women’s soccer program at TCNJ the best of success.

I just wish she’d post a few more blogs to keep us, her team and the rest of the NCAA in the loop with how she’s doing.

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Dara Torres clinched the silver medal in the 50m freestyle event on Sunday, losing by 0.1 seconds to Britta Steffen of Germany. “Holy crap” is the only thing that came to mind when I saw that finish. She exited the pool with watery eyes. She deserves nothing but congratulations for her efforts this year, and she was successful in her efforts to steal earned attention internationally as the oldest woman to compete in the Olympics. She brought home three three medals from Beijing.

In the semifinals, Torres showed great sportsmanship as she held the race when Sweden’s Therese Alshammar tried to rectify her torn swimsuit. Torres warned officials to wait. I guess wisdom really does come with age and experience. I wonder how many other Olympic athletes would hold the race for a competitor.

Also, I read this morning on Women Play Sports that our U.S. Women’s soccer team is headed to the finals after beating Japan, 4-2.

The US will be facing Brazil, who beat Germany earlier today by a score of 4-1.

“The US has a chance to win their third gold medal ever in women’s soccer. They’ve had much success here in the Olympics, only losing one gold medal final. The US has a chance to show their soccer dominance to the rest of the world, once again,” Andrew said.

It’s going to be exciting to watch that game. It will be broadcast live on NBC at 9am on Thursday.

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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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I read on the Pretty Tough blog [one of my new favorites in the blogosphere] that the US women’s soccer team played Brazil the other night for a friendly game. Only it didn’t turn out to be a regular night. Amy Wambach rushed to try to reach a ball defended by Brazilian player Maria Rosa late in the game, collided with her and suffered a midshaft oblique fracture on both her tibia and fibula [aka, she broke her leg and can’t play in the Olympics].

As you can read in one of my earlier posts, Wambach is the strength of the USA team’s offense. This is a severe blow to a team who is picked to bring home the gold.

This really sucks for Wambach, too, who was at the high point of her career.

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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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