Aug. 1, 2012
Friday, Aug. 3
LONDON - The Beautiful Game is going to get a dose of the Blue & Gold when former California women's soccer teammates Alex Morgan and Betsy Hassett play against each other in Friday's quarterfinals match. Four-year letterwinner Morgan will don the Red, White & Blue of America while current senior Hassett will sport the New Zealand's Football Ferns jersey at 6:30 a.m. PT at St. James' Park in Newcastle.
The match will be shown live on the NBC Sports Network and fans can also follow along through U.S. Soccer's Match Tracker and Twitter.
The Americans post a perfect 3-0 record in group play to take first place in Group G. The nine points garnered by the U.S. mark the first time that the Americans have taken the full nine points from a group stage at the Olympics. The U.S. capped off group play with a 1-0 win over Korea DPR on July 31 with Morgan playing all 90 minutes.
New Zealand booked its ticket as one of eight teams to advance to the quarterfinals by beating Cameroon 3-1 on July 31. In that game, Hassett started and played the entirety of the match. New Zealand suffered two 1-0 heart-breaking losses - one to England and the other to Brazil. However, the 3-1 win over Cameroon secured the Group E third-place finish and a quarterfinal berth as one of the two best third-place teams.
The U.S. holds an 8-1-0 all-time record against New Zealand with the most recent meeting a come-from-behind 2-1 victory on Feb. 11, that saw Morgan score two late goals.
One of the best players in the storied history of California soccer, Morgan was the first Golden Bear to ever be named one of the top-three finalists for the Hermann Trophy - the most prestigious award in all of collegiate soccer. In four years in Berkeley, Morgan was a four-time All-Pac-10 selection and a NSCAA First-Team All-American as a senior.
Coming into the Olympics, Hassett had already collected 39 caps at the senior level and 10 at the under-20 level including matches at the 2011 World Cup with four career senior national team goals. With one year remaining in Berkeley, Hassett has played in 42 career games for the Bears, starting 29. A social welfare major, Hassett garnered NSCAA Scholar All-America status and Pac-12 All-Academic Honorable Mention in 2011 and earned a spot on the 2010 Pac-10 All-Academic Second Team.