Former University of Florida standout Abby Wambach scored the second and game-winning goal in the U.S. Women's National Soccer Team's 2-1 Olympic quarterfinal win over Japan Friday in the Kaftanzoglio Stadium. Another former Gator on the U.S. roster, Heather Mitts, did not play on Friday.
The win advances the U.S. to an Olympic semifinal match versus 2003 World Cup champion Germany. That match is set for Monday, Aug. 23 in Monday in Iraklion. Germany advanced to the semifinal round with a 2-1 win over Nigeria on Friday.
Wambach tapped in an easy short shot to break the tie in the 59th minute that was set up off of Mia Hamm's free kick. The Japanese tried to run an offside trap, but mistimed their movements, leaving four U.S. players alone in the box to retrieve the free kick. Shannon Box passed the ball to Wambach, who scored her 17th goal of her last 18 matches. The first U.S. goal came from Kristine Lilly, who scored her second goal in as many matches in the 43rd minute.
Japan tied the match early in the second half when Emi Yamamoto's long free kick bounced inside the far post in the 48th minute.
Wambach is the Gators' career leader in goals (96), assists (50) and points (242) and stands sixth on the NCAA Career charts in goals and points. She earned National Soccer Coaches Association of American (NSCAA) All-America first-team honors in 1999 and 2001. She is a four-time member of the All-Southeastern Conference first team and picked up the SEC Player of the Year award in 2000 and '01.
The U.S. team will travel to Iraklion in preparation for its next match on Monday, Aug. 23 against Germany. That match kicks off at 6 p.m. local / 11 a.m. ET and will be broadcast live on MSNBC.
U.S. Women's National Team Game Report
Match-up: USA vs. Japan
Competition: 2004 Olympics - Quarterfinal
Venue: Kaftanzoglio Stadium; Thessaloniki, Greece
Date: August 20, 2004; Kickoff - 6 p.m. local / 11 a.m. ET
Scoring Summary: 1 2 F USA 1 1 2 JAPAN 0 1 1 USA – Kristin Lilly 43rd minute. JAPAN - Emi Yamamoto 48th minute USA - Abby Wambach (Shannon Box) 59th Statistical Summary: USA JAPAN Shots: 12 5 Corner Kicks: 4 6 Yellow Cards 2 0 Offside: 0 1
Women's Track and Field: Two-Time Olympian Clark Runs In Women's 800m
ATHENS, Greece- Former Gator and two-time Olympian Hazel Clark competed in the opening round of the 800m, but did not advance to the semifinals on the second day of track and field competition at Athens Olympic Stadium on Friday.
Clark clocked a time of 2:05.67 in the opening round to finish fifth in her heat with the top three in each of the six heats advancing to the semifinals. Clark, the 2000 U.S. Olympic Trials champion in the 800m, finished seventh in the 800m at the 2000 Olympics in Sydney.
Track and field competition continues through Aug. 29.
Men's Swimming: Former Gators, Gabriel Mangabeira and Ricardo Monasterio Compete in Day Six Action
ATHENS, Greece--In the final day of swimming for athletes with Florida ties, former Gators Gabriel Mangabeira (Brazil) and Ricardo Monasterio (Venezuela) turned in strong efforts in their events at the Olympic Aquatic Centre on Friday.
Mangabeira, competing in his first Olympic Games, captured a sixth place finish in the 100-meter butterfly final with a time of 52.34 seconds. In the event, Mangabeira narrowly missed eclipsing his newly established South American and Brazilian record of 52.33 that he established on Thursday night in the semifinals.
Competing in his third Olympic Games (1996, 2000 and 2004), Monasterio raced to a 15th place finish in the 1,500-meter freestyle with a time of 15:20.89.
The final day of swimming competition is tomorrow, however, there are no athletes with UF ties that will be competing. For the 2004 Summer Games, swimmer's with ties to UF have been awarded a total of three medals (two gold and one silver) and have broken one world record (Darian Townsend-South Africa-4 x 100-meter freestyle relay) and one American record (Ryan Lochte-United States-4 x 200-meter freestyle relay).
Gator Medal Tracker
Gold--Darian Townsend--South Africa--Men's Swimming--4 x 100-meter freestyle relay
Gold--Ryan Lochte--USA--Men's Swimming--4 x 200-meter freestyle relay
Silver--Ryan Lochte--USA--Men's Swimming--200-meter individual medley