Cal at Olympics: USA Women's Soccer Tops Netherlands on Penalty Kicks

Former Cal star Alex Morgan made one of the four U.S. penalty kicks to help American women reach semifinal. Sydney Payne captures gold in rowing.
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Former Cal standout Alex Morgan was one of the four United States players who made their penalty kicks after the overtime periods to give USA a women's soccer victory over The Netherlands, advancing the Americans to the semifinals at the Tokyo Olympics on Friday.

The Americans' semifinal opponent will be Canada, which eliminated Brazil in a penalty-kick shootout in an earlier quarterfinal match. The USA-Canada semifinal is scheduled for 1 a.m. Monday Pacific time (4 a.m. Eastern time).

The Americans had lost on penalty kicks to Sweden in the quarterfinals of the 2016 Olympics, but this quarterfinal shootout turned out differently for the Americans.

After two halves and two extra periods, the score was tied 2-2, thanks in large part to a save by USA goaltender Alyssa Naeher, who saved a penalty shot attempt by Lieke Martens in the 81st minute and ended up being the star of the game.

Offside calls on goals by Morgan and Christen Press in the second extra period pushed the outcome into a penalty-kicks shootout.

The Americans made all four of their penalty kicks, with Megan Rapinoe making the fourth and clinching penalty kick after Rose Lavelle, Morgan and Press had made theirs.

Morgan, Press and Rapinoe were not in the starting lineup for the Americans, but all three entered early in the second half, and were around at the end to convert goals in the penalty-kick shootout.

Regarding Morgan and Rapinoe, ESPN analyst Kathleen McNamee said, "I still think they're worth their weight in gold for the U.S. Women's National Team."

Alex Morgan (13) dribbles past Aniek Nouwen. Photo by Jack Gruber, USA TODAY Sports

Alex Morgan (13) dribbles past Aniek Nouwen. Photo by Jack Gruber, USA TODAY Sports

However, the star was goaltender Naeher, who saved two Netherlands penalty-shot attempts in the shootout. She stopped the Netherlands' opening penalty-shot attempt by Vivianne Miedema, who had scored 10 goals in the tournament, including two in this game, and then she stopped the fourth Netherlands attempt by Aniek Nouwen.  The latter save gave Rapinoe the opportunity to clinch the win with her penalty kick.

"There's no one else I'd rather have in the net than her," USA midfielder Rose Lavelle said. "She's saved us so many times."

Game highlights, with all eight penalty kicks in the shootout at the end of the video:

It was the ninth straight win by the USA over The Netherlands, whose only win over the Americans came back in 1991.

But the Dutch had scored 21 goals in the group stage, surpassing the record for goals in an Olympic Games.  The Americans had scored only six goals in the group stage and had been shut out twice. And though the Americans were ranked No. 1 in the world, there was concern that they might not be able to cope with the attack of The Netherlands, which was runnerup to the United States in the 2019 women's World Cup.

USA led 2-1 at halftime on goals by Sam Mewis and Lynn Williams, but the Dutch tied the score 2-2 on Miedema's second goal of the game nine minutes into the second half. It was Miedema's 10th goal of the tournament, but her inability to get her 11th in the shootout was instrumental in the USA win.

Sydney Payne captures gold in rowing

Sydney Payne, a member of the 2018 women's Cal eight crew that won an NCAA title, won a gold medal at these Olympics as a member of the Canada crew that finished first in women's eight final A.

The Canadians finished the 2,000-meter course in a time in 5:59.13, nearly a full second ahead of New Zealand, which was second in 6:00.04.

---Julian Venonsky was the coxswain for the United States crew that competed in the A final in the men's eight. The U.S. finished fourth in 5:26.75, less than a second behind Great Britain, which took the bronze

---Angus Dawson was a member of the Australian crew that qualified for the men's eight final A, but the Aussies finished sixth in that medal race.

---Kara Kohler, representing USA, finished third in the women's single scull final B, leaving her out of the running for a medal.

---Gennaro di Mauro, representing Italy, was second in the men's single scull final B, which was not a medal race.

Morikawa 8 strokes back

Former Cal star Collin Morikawa shot a 1-under-par 70 in the second round of the men's golf competition, leaving him at 3-under for the tournament, eight strokes behind leader Xander Schauffele of the United States, who carded an 8-under 63 in the second round and is 11-under for the tournament.

For the second straight day the round was interrupted by dangerous weather. The second round was suspended when Morikawa was on the 14th hole and a delay of about two hours ensued before play resumed.

Morikawa, who won the British Open two weeks ago, is tied for 25th place, so needless to say, he needs some low scores in the final two rounds to have any hope of winning a medal.

Women's water polo

Kitty Lynn Joustra, a rising senior at Cal, scored two goals in The Netherlands' 33-1 victory over South Africa 33-1 in women's water polo Group A play. The Dutch are 2-1 in group action.

---Anna Illes was in the starting lineup but did not score for Hungary, which defeated Japan 17-13 in Group B women's water polo play. Hungary has two wins and one draw.

---Roser Tarrago attempted two shots but did not score for Spain in its 15-9 win over Australia, which improved Spain's record to 3-1 in Group A play.


---Tom Shields swam a leg in the USA men's 4x100 individual medley relay team that qualified for the final, but not with much room to spare. The Americans finished fourth in their semifinal heat in a time of 3:32.29, which was the seventh-best time overall, allowing the Americans to advance to the eight-team final.

---Camille Cheng swam leg for Hong Kong in the women's 4X100 individual medley relay semifinals, but her team finished seventh in its semifinal heat and did not advance.

Cover photo of Alex Morgan (13) is by Jack Gruber, USA TODAY


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