Aug. 6, 2012
2012 Olympics Women's Soccer: FIFA | NBC Olympics >>> Team Canada
MANCHESTER, England -- A former Boilermaker was on the pitch for the full 120-plus minutes of one of the most memorable games in the history of women's soccer at the Olympic Games. Purdue alumna Lauren Sesselmann went the distance at defender for Canada in the semifinal thriller with Team USA, won by the Americans, 4-3, in extra time Monday.
After a second-half that featured five goals, the game went to extra time tied 3-3. Following 30 minutes of scoreless action, University of California alumna Alex Morgan headed in a cross in additional time to prevent the first shootout in the history of women's soccer at the Olympic Games.
Canada had not held the lead against Team USA since 2003. Thanks to a hat trick from former University of Portland standout Christine Sinclair, the Canadians held the lead three times throughout the game. But Team USA scored three equalizers, the last coming in the 80th minute on a penalty shot by University of Florida alumnus Abby Wambach.
Sesselmann went the distance for the fourth consecutive game at the Olympics. She helped Canada successfully defend 12 of the USA's 13 corner kicks. She was whistled for only one foul in 120-plus minutes of action at defender.
Sesselmann and Team Canada will still have an opportunity to play for a medal Thursday, taking on France at 8 a.m. ET in Coventry, England, in the bronze-medal match. The gold-medal match at Wembley Stadium in London will be a rematch of the 2011 World Cup Final, featuring Japan and Team USA at 2:45 p.m. ET. Both matches will be televised live on the NBC Sports Network and online at NBCOlympics.com.
Canada has not medaled since women's soccer was added to the Olympic program in 1996.
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 this year. McLeod and Moscato also started Monday. McLeod is the goalkeeper.
Sesselmann played for Purdue from 2001-05, finishing her career with 34 goals and a program-record 22 assists. She was born in Wisconsin but gained Canadian citizenship through her father.