Aug. 9, 2012
2012 Olympics Women's Soccer: FIFA
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COVENTRY, England -- Another thrilling finish in women's soccer action at the Olympic Games has earned another Purdue alumnus a medal. Former Boilermaker Lauren Sesselmann again went the distance at defender as Team Canada shutout France, 1-0, in the bronze medal game Thursday.
Outshot 18-4 in the game, Canada's Diana Matheson scored the game's only goal in the 92nd minute (of additional time) to give her side its first medal at the Olympics since women's soccer was added to the program in 1996. Sesselmann and Team Canada also won the gold medal at the Pan American Games in October 2011.
Canada won its first Summer Games medal in a traditional team sport since 1936 (men's basketball silver). The Canadians will receive their bronze medal after the USA-Japan gold medal match tonight at Wembley Stadium in London. Sesselmann joins David Boudia as former Boilermakers to win a medal at the 2012 Olympic Games. She is the first Purdue women's soccer alumnus to win an Olympic medal.
France hit the post twice in the game and only managed to put four of its 18 shots on goal. "We wobbled for long times, but our defending was remarkable," Canada coach John Herdman said. "France were the better team, but you need to put the ball in the back of the net. We did that."
Matheson scored into a wide open net after gaining possession of a rebound on the right side of the 18-yard box. The Princeton alumnus assured there would be no extra time on this day after Canada and Team USA played over 120 minutes of action in Monday's instant classic and controversial semifinal game, won by the Americans, 4-3, on a goal scored with 30 seconds left to play in extra time.
Sesselmann went the distance for the fifth consecutive game. In Canada's six games at the Olympics, she was on the pitch for the duration of the tournament except for the final 21 minutes of the opener against Japan. She helped the Canadians post shut out wins against South Africa, Great Britain and France.
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 all six games of the tournament.
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.