Thursday, March 6, 2008

Call Her Clutch

Today was a light training for the U.S. team on the one day between the China and Italy games, but that didn't mean that the competitive juices weren't flowing. U.S. head coach Pia Sundhage ended training with a game of "Crossbar" where the team split into pairs (based on similar music tastes of all things) and each partner had one chance to chip a ball from the edge of the penalty box in an attempt to hit the crossbar. If either partner hit the bar, they moved on to the next round. By the third round, just three teams remained, and all six missed, meaning everyone got a chance to go again. Once again, the first five missed, then up stepped Abby Wambach, who had clanged her shot off crossbar in the second round. (Woznuk got them through the first round). With the entire team on its toes, and one shot to win it all, Wambach's shot struck the underside of the crossbar, sparking a joyous celebration rivaled only perhaps by a goal she has scored in a World Cup or Olympics. We kid you not. She ran, fell to her knees, then rolled on her back, arms upraised. Wambach called it "one of the best days of my year" and she was only partly joking.

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