Aug. 9, 2012
Stanford Olympic Page
Official London 2012 Olympic Page
STANFORD, Calif. - It was a golden day for Stanford's Olympic athletes Thursday as eight Cardinal women, playing for the U.S. soccer and water polo teams, struck Olympic Gold.
In Women's Soccer action...
Three former Stanford stars -- Rachel Buehler '07, Kelley O'Hara '10, and Nicole Barnhart '04 -- earned gold medals as members of the United States team that beat Japan, 2-1, in the Olympic final at Wembley Stadium.
Before an Olympic-record crowd of 80,203, the U.S. earned its third consecutive gold and fourth overall. It was the second gold for Buehler, a co-captain, and Barnhart, a backup goalkeeper. Buehler, in central defense, and O'Hara, at outside left back, helped solidify a defense that held Japan scoreless for the first 62 minutes.
Carli Lloyd gave the Americans a 2-0 lead by the 54th minute. The U.S. would need both, especially in a nervous final few minutes which featured a diving save by goalkeeper Hope Solo after the U.S. lost the ball in its own end.
The U.S. gained a measure of revenge, having lost to Japan in the World Cup final in 2011.
In Women's Volleyball action...
The U.S. womens volleyball team, ranked No. 1 in the world behind Stanford alums Foluke Akinradewo '09 and Logan Tom '03, advance to the Olympic Games gold-medal match for the second straight time with a 25-20, 25-22, 25-22 victory over No. 15 Korea, Thursday, at Earls Court in London.
Akinradewo scored 12 points on eight kills via 10 attacks and two aces. Tom provided six kills, a block and an ace for eight points.
The U.S. used a 6-0 run to come back from a 16-15 deficit in the opening set to win 25-20 as the Americans out-blocked the Koreans 6-0. Destinee Hooker scored four of her eight points in the second set after the U.S. trailed 20-17 and came back to win 25-22 by scoring eight of the final 10 points. The U.S. held a 13-7 lead in the third set, but Korea came back to tie the set at 18-all to make it interesting down the stretch. However, Team USA closed out the set with a 4-1 run and 25-22 victory.
The U.S., searching for its first-ever Olympic Games gold medal in womens volleyball, will face second-ranked Brazil on Saturday, Aug. 11 at 10:30 a.m. PT in the final.
In Women's Water Polo action...
The U.S., powered in part by its five Stanford women's water polo representatives, finally claimed that elusive gold medal Thursday, cruising past Spain, 8-5.
The victory earned Olympic Gold Medals for U.S. captain and four-time Olympian Brenda Villa '03, two-time Olympian Jessica Steffens '10 and debutantes Annika Dries '14, Melissa Seidemann '13 and Maggie Steffens '16.
Maggie Steffens '16 concluded her sublime tournament with five goals in the victory, making her the top scoring women's player in London with 21 goals over the 5-0-1 U.S. run.
Steffens netted four of her goals during a 7-0 U.S. run that lasted from the 6:22 mark of the second frame to the 7:20 mark of the fourth. Seidemann and Villa also added goals during this stretch, flipping a 2-1 deficit into an 8-2 lead.
For the tournament, Seidemann finished with seven goals, tying for second on the team, while Villa's six goals were good for fourth amongst U.S. players. Dries found the net twice while Jessica Steffens added a goal, giving the five Cardinal women 34 total out of 58 U.S. goals (58.6 percent of the U.S. scoring).