Carli Lloyd’s parents started taking her to play soccer when she was just five. It was love at first kick. “I would bring a ball everywhere, kick it against a wall, in a playground, at anyone’s house,” Lloyd told New Jersey Monthly prior to the 2012 Summer Olympics in London. “I played other sports, too—swimming and basketball, for instance—but by high school, I knew soccer was my passion.”
Her passion paid off Sunday when the Delran native lead the US Women’s Soccer team to their third World Cup title in a stunning 5-2 victory over Japan. The rout was redemption for the heartbreaking 2011 loss to the Japanese in the final. Lloyd, an all-star for the entire tournament, completed a hat trick within the first 16 minutes of play, including an unbelievable boot from midfield. It was the fastest hat trick in Women’s World Cup history. Lloyd is the second person to score a hat trick in the World Cup final; the first was Geoff Hurst for England in 1966.
After netting two goals, it appeared Japan was mounting a comeback. Those fears were soon put to bed when Tobin Heath, from Basking Ridge, scored the fifth goal for the U.S. at the 53:43 minute mark, securing a 3 goal lead and the victory.
Lloyd and Heath weren’t the only Jersey natives to take the field. Christie Rampone, a Point Pleasant native and Manasquan resident, was a member of the team when the U.S. won their last World Cup in 1999. At the trophy presentation, she and fellow veteran Abby Wambach hoisted the trophy together. Both are expected to retire.
Over the course of the tournament, Lloyd scored six goals and had one assist. For her outstanding efforts, she won the Golden Ball Award, presented to the best player in the Cup. Additionally, she received the Silver Boot for being the World Cup’s second-highest scorer, after Germany’s Celia Sasic.
Lloyd, a Rutgers alum, is the Scarlet Knights’ all-time leading scorer. Her decision to attend Rutgers was a bit of a surprise to college recruiters. “It was an up-and-coming program, and my goal was to put it on the map a little,” Lloyd told New Jersey Monthly in 2009.
Lloyd’s dedication to her craft and passion for the game propelled her to the top of her field. For Lloyd, hard work and sacrifice are paramount to success.
“I only do what I can control and that is working as hard as I can to get to the top and be the best,” she told New Jersey Monthly in 2012. “It has always been my motto to do that hard work.”
Congratulations to Lloyd, Heath, Rampone and the entire Women’s U.S. National Team.Click here to leave a comment