July 31, 2012
2012 Olympics Women's Soccer: FIFA | NBC Olympics >>> Team Canada
LONDON -- Purdue soccer alumnus Lauren Sesselmann went the distance as a defender in Team Canada's positive results against South Africa and Sweden to help her side advance to the quarterfinals at the Olympic Games.
In Turkey, program alumnus Felicia Schroeder helped USA Deaf Soccer win the Deaf World Cup with its second 1-0 victory against Russia of the tournament, claiming the title on Saturday (July 28).
After blanking South Africa 3-0 on Saturday (July 28), Sesselmann and the Canadians squared off against Sweden today (July 31) in both teams' final game of Group F play. Sweden jumped out to an early 2-0 lead but Canada got back in the game with a goal just before halftime and equalized in the 84th minute. The game ended in a 2-2 draw, which turned out to be beneficial for both sides.
Sweden, which had played reigning World Cup champion Japan to a scoreless draw Saturday, won Group F with five points and a plus-3 goal differential. Japan finished tied with Sweden with five points, earning another quarterfinal berth. But thanks to the four points it earned with the victory and draw, Canada also clinched a quarterfinal berth.
There are three groups of four teams among the women's soccer field at the 2012 Olympic Games. The top two finishers in each group advance automatically. The other two quarterfinalists are the third-place teams with the most points (or top goal differential). None of the teams that entered the final day of group play in third place or lower were going to be able to finish with more points than Canada.
Sesselmann and the Canadians will play again Friday, Aug. 3 at 2:30 p.m. ET against Great Britain. The British defeated Brazil, 1-0, Tuesday to win Group E. The host nation won each of its three Group E games in shutout fashion.
From around the Big Ten, Penn State's Erin McLeod and Carmelina Moscato, Nebraska's Karina Leblanc and Brittany Timko, and Illinois' Emily Zurrer are also on the roster for the Canadian Women's Soccer National Team at the Olympic Games in London.