United States women’s national team midfielder Rose Lavelle has said there is “no one else” she’d rather have in goal other than Alyssa Naeher, who stopped three penalties and made several other crucial saves in their Tokyo 2020 quarterfinal win over the Netherlands on Friday.
Naeher saved a penalty from Lieke Martens in normal time before saving two spot-kicks after the game ended 2-2 following extra-time.
“There’s no one else I’d rather have in the net than her,” Lavelle said. “She’s saved us so many times.”
“This team just kept pushing for 90 minutes, 120 minutes, and we just kept believing that we were going to find a way to get it done,” Naeher said. “Very proud of the four players to step up and score their four penalties to go 4-for-4. That is huge.”
“I just try to be calm,” Rapinoe said after the game. “I say to myself, the worst that’s going to happen is that we lose the whole thing.”
Morgan and Press had found the net within four minutes of each other in extra time, which would have given the USWNT the lead, but both were adjudicated to be offside.
“I’m incredibly proud of them, proud of the way they handled, not just this game, but the way they’ve handled this tournament,” coach Vlatko Andonovski said in a news conference after the match.
“Coming in and losing the first game, and actually, not just losing but getting our butts kicked, it’s not easy for this team that is not used to losing. They’re not even used to having a bad game, and to lose like that was not easy.
“It’s not easy to handle the pressure, to handle the loss, and to bounce back in to play the game that we did against New Zealand. That was not easy to do, to win by multiple goals and then to be disciplined enough to do something that is not quite who we are but to be disciplined enough to take it because it’s going to help us get to the point where we want to go.
“Then to come in here and impose yourself from the first second, and literally I mean, I felt like we took the game over at the beginning of the game and showed who we are.”