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Rutgers Product Carli Lloyd Dominates as USWNT Captures World Cup Gold

Rutgers alum leads Team USA

Capping off one of the most impressive World Cup performances in recent memory, Carli Lloyd dazzled with three goals in the United States’ 5-2 victory over Japan in Sunday’s championship game.

Lloyd got the scoring started early, converting a Megan Rapinoe corner kick for a score in the third minute. Just two minutes later, Lloyd scored again. She showed impressive, precise footwork by dribbling the ball past three defenders and into the goal to put the United States up 2-0 in the fifth minute. Finally, the former Scarlet Knight capped off the fastest hat trick in Women’s World Cup history by launching a shot from near midfield that got past the fingertips of Japanese goalie Ayumi Kaihori and into the goal in the 16th minute.

For her efforts, Lloyd was recognized with two individual awards. First, she received the Silver Boot, for being the second best scorer in the tournament. Lloyd was actually tied with Golden Boot winner Celia Sasic from Germany with seven goals, but the award went to Sasic for scoring her goals in fewer minutes.

Former Rutgers and current USWNT midfielder Carli Lloyd holds up the Golden Ball trophy after Sunday's championship game win over Japan (USA Today).

Former Rutgers and current USWNT midfielder Carli Lloyd holds up the Golden Ball trophy after Sunday’s championship game win over Japan (USA Today).

Lloyd would not be denied the gold in her second award, however. FIFA executives presented her with the Golden Ball, the award given to the most outstanding player of the tournament. Lloyd beat out Amandine Henry from France and Aya Miyama of Japan for the honor.

At the end of the day, though, the most important trophy Lloyd hosted on Sunday was not and individual award; It was the FIFA World Cup trophy, the first of her illustrious career.

Lloyd shared her excitement early Monday morning via Twitter.

httpss://twitter.com/CarliLloyd/status/617944987104317440

Being crowned champion is the culmination of a four-game tear for Lloyd, who scored six goals in that stretch. In fact, much of the United States’ success can be attributed to her performance in the quarterfinal matchup against China. The team was without Rapinoe and Lauren Holiday, two of its key players.

Head coach Jill Ellis made the decision to move Lloyd into a more aggressive, offensive role, a position with which she had previously been unfamiliar in this tournament. Lloyd responded by knocking in a header in the 51st minute, which would be the only score of the match. The United States won 1-0 and advanced to the semifinals. The rest, to use a cliché, is history.

United States midfielder Carli Lloyd scored six times in her last four games (USA Today).

United States midfielder Carli Lloyd scored six times in her last four games (USA Today).

Her alma mater has supported the fast-rising superstar throughout the World Cup, and wasted no time in creating plans to honor her. Steve Politi of NJ.com reports Rutgers is planning on a ceremony for Lloyd, and was even before her incredible performance in the championship game. The event, at a date to be determined, will take place this fall.

“The details are still being ironed out,” Politi wrote. “But fans can expect Lloyd, who is still the all-time leading scorer for the women’s soccer program at Rutgers and a member of the school’s Hall of Distinguished Alumni, to receive the rock star treatment in Piscataway soon.”

United States midfielder Carli Lloyd while she played for Rutgers (ScarletKnights.com)

United States midfielder Carli Lloyd while she played for Rutgers (ScarletKnights.com).

Lloyd and the United States came close to capturing the gold in the 2011 Women’s World Cup, but fell just short, losing to Japan in crushing fashion after a shootout. Many were left wondering what would have happened if the teams were allowed to play on, instead of resorting to the shootout. Four years later, the United States left no doubt, as they took it to that very same Japanese team, this time coming out on top. And at the frontline of it all was the best player in women’s soccer today, Carli Lloyd, who spent her college years on the banks of the old Raritan.

Let that sink in. The best women’s soccer player in the world got her start at Rutgers.

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  1. Pingback: It Has Always Been Carli Lloyd’s Moment to Shine • Double G Sports

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