Jul 25, 2012; Glasgow, United Kingdom; USA midfielder Megan Rapinoe (10) celebrates with forward Alex Morgan (13) after scoring on France during the women's preliminary match before the London 2012 Olympic Games at Hampden Park. Mandatory Credit: Matt Kryger-USA TODAY Sports
The first event for the United States at these 2012 Olympics had a Pac-12 flavor to it, and it was Alex Morgan once again knocking in the critical goals to help the United States overcome a 2-0 deficit against France early on. Morgan utilized excellent timing to avoid an offside call on her first goal, and she made some nifty maneuvers to keep the attack going. Morgan's goals were all about patience rather than aggression, and the end result were the two goals that made up the final differential.
Grant Wahl of Sports Illustrated has more on Morgan's performance.
Give credit too to Morgan, who showed with her two goals that she isn't all about speed. Morgan's lightning-fast pace certainly puts her in dangerous positions, but on Wednesday she proved that her game has plenty of subtlety and useful restraint, too. On both goals Morgan managed to time her run perfectly to keep from being offside, and her opening strike featured a delicate pause to let the ball bounce to her foot before hitting a looping finish *just right* to beat the onrushing goalkeeper.
Among the Pac-12 stars, Kelley O'Hara, Amy LePeilbet, and Rachel Buehler struggled on defense during the start of the game when they fell behind 2-0. O'Hara and LePeilbet were bedeviled by the attacking speed of the French down the sidelines, and Rachel Buehler struggled with position. They regained their composure after the initial onslaught, but the defense remained a bit unsteady. On the bright side, Lauren Cheney provided a steadying force in midfield along with the superb Megan Rapinoe when she was able to get touches on the ball.
Also of concern is that Shannon Boxx went down early for the United States with a hamstring injury. The good news is that veteran Carli Lloyd was available off the bench, and she drilled the go-ahead goal for the United States. Boxx is currently day-to-day.
Sydney Leroux came on late to spell Megan Rapinoe in the 85th minute.
Stay tuned for more Olympic coverage on our Pac-12 Olympic Sports section.