NJ Women Help Lead U.S. Soccer Team to Olympic Gold
Christie Rampone and Carli Lloyd play big roles in U.S. win.
The U.S. Women's Soccer team — including Point Pleasant Borough High School graduate Christie Rampone, East Brunswick's Heather O'Reilly, Basking Ridge's Tobin Heath, and Delran's Carli Lloyd — got the gold on Thursday in an Olympic re-match of last year's World Cup final with Japan.
The game, aired on NBC Sports, ended with team members pulling on white T-shirts that say "Greatness Has Been Found" and posing for photos with the American flag.
Rampone, clutching a corner of a flag, ran across the flag, with a teammate holding the other side of the country's banner.
Lloyd who hails from Delran — next to Cinnaminson in South Jersey — was pivotal in the win: The midfielder scored both goals for the U.S.
O'Reilly played a key role in the U.S.'s defeat of Canada in the semifinals.
Read local reaction to Heath's gold medal here.
The U.S. Women's National Team now has its fourth gold medal and third straight. This was the much-hyped and anticipated re-match with 2011 FIFA Women's World Cup champion Japan in the soccer finale at Wembley Stadium in London.
Rampone, a Monmouth University soccer star and graduate who lives in Manasquan with her husband and two young daughters, is US team captain and plays defense.
To watch a video of Rampone and her coach and teammates talk, in advance, about the game with Japan on the US Soccer website, click here.
Lloyd has been profiled previously on Cinnaminson Patch. Lloyd was coached by Moorestown girls’ head soccer coach Bill Mulvihill.
O'Reilly retains close ties to East Brunswick and will be back later this month to run a soccer summer camp.
Ridge High School grad Heath had participated in the Olympics in 2008, when the team also won gold, but she was a reserve player at that time. Her coach reminisces here.
The USA was coming off a thrilling 4-3 overtime victory against Canada on Monday, while Japan defeated France 2-1 in the other semifinal match.
Rampone, 37, has said, in an interview with Patch last year, that this is her last Olympics, but that she will continue to play in the U.S. Read the interview for Rampone's reflections on the coaches and parents who told her she would never make it as a soccer player, as well as the coaches, family and friends who always supported her.