Photo by John Todd
In a battle of two Cal women's soccer stars, the United States defeated New Zealand, 2-0, in a quarterfinal match in the Olympics at St. James' Park in Newcastle, England this morning.
Alex Morgan, who earned first team All-American honors as a forward at Cal where she completed her career in 2010, is playing in her first Olympics with the United States. Betsy Hassett, the 2011 All-Pac-12 honoree who is entering her senior season with the Golden Bears this fall, is playing in her first Olympic games with her native country of New Zealand.
The U.S. jumped out to the early lead thanks to a nice feed by Morgan to teammate Abby Wambach for the score in the 27th minute. The former Golden Bear standout dribbled down the left side and beat her defender where she got off a perfectly-timed pass to Wambach inside the far post. Wambach punched it in for the goal.
Hassett led New Zealand's search for the equalizer with a good shot attempt late in the first half, but could not find the back of the net.
The Americans added a goal by Sydney Leroux from Tobin Heath in the 87th minute to extend their lead to 2-0 and cruise into the semifinal round.
Morgan collided with a New Zealand defender late in the match and was substituted for by Leroux in the 80th minute. Morgan recorded five of the USA's 15 shots in the match.
Hassett played all 90 minutes for the Football Ferns where she recorded two of New Zealand's seven shots in the match.
Morgan and the United States advanced to Monday's semifinal round in Manchester, England where they will face either Great Britain or Canada at 11:45 a.m. (PT). The NBC Sports Network will provide live coverage of all the action.