Yokohama, Japan — Similar to the 2019 World Cup, US goalkeeper Alyssa Naehar was a big hit at the Olympics.
Neihar made three important penalty saves to the United States in the quarterfinal match against the Netherlands. One was regulation and two were shootouts, keeping Americans alive at the Tokyo Olympics.
And along with that, Neihar, who played at Pennsylvania State University, gained a reputation for a great save that saved the day.
Megan Rapinoe said the gentle verbal Neihar would not recognize the victory, but she deserves it.
“Obviously, it was huge to take a penalty from them during the play, and then it became very easy for us to take us two to shoot out, especially when they were first. When you go and take the first one, it just puts pressure on the team, “Rapinoe said. “She was just huge.”
The United States and the Netherlands were tied at 2:00 in the second half of the match when Neihar suffocated Lieke Martens’ penalty.
Then, in a shootout, Neihar stopped Fifiane Midema, the top 10-scoring Olympic scorer, in the opening round of the Dutch.
She stopped for a second. This was taken by Anique Nawen, who set a penalty for Rapinoe and sent Americans to the semi-finals against Canada on Monday.
Then, of course, Neihar acknowledged his teammates’ achievements.
“This team, we always believe we will find a way to win. And I think you saw it tonight. This team got together, kept fighting, playing with each other, pushing, pushing, 120 minutes I pushed, “she said. “And step up those four and fill the four penalties. We won the team. It was a true team effort.”
Asked if it was her best performance ever, Neihar distracted.
“I’ll leave it to you, I don’t know anything about it,” she said. “But I said from the beginning, I just want to help my team win the gold medal.”
Naeher is reserved mostly due to negligence. She is allowed to score goals in the Olympic tournament, but her talent as a goalkeeper instantly embodies her mistakes, especially after losing to Sweden 3-0 in the opening round.
It doesn’t have the big personality of a player like Rapinoe, but Rapinoe’s teammates call her attractive and clever. She generally avoids social media. She loves crossword puzzles and is a fan of the New England Patriots.
“She’s a great teammate and a great person. She’s very funny. If you want to talk to her, she’ll talk to you for hours,” said teammate Lynn Williams.
“But I think calmness helps her, and that’s what we saw. She played an incredible game, she kept us in the game. , I don’t know how she does it. I’m surprised. “
At the French World Cup, Neihar suffocated the penalty with a 2-1 victory in the semi-finals against England in the United States. This was the first ever penalty save by a US goalkeeper in the regulation of a premier soccer tournament.
A video review revealed that Becky Sourbrunn fouled England’s Ellen White in the penalty area as the United States clung to the lead later in the game. Neihar was there to wrap up the shot of England captain Steph Houghton, helping to ensure the United States made it to the finals.
The Americans won the title by defeating the Netherlands 2-0.
The save allowed Neihar to establish her own identity after taking over the work of the national team from her candid predecessor Hope Solo.
Since 2013, Neihar has been shut out 44 times and has participated in the national team 77 times. Now 33, she has been playing professionally with the Chicago Red Stars in the National Women’s Soccer League since 2016.
She naturally keeps her approach to penalties simple.
“You just try to stay in that moment,” she said. “Focus on the ball. Take a few deep breaths and let your instinct take over.”
Alyssa Naehar is the power to stabilize US goals
Source link Alyssa Naehar is the power to stabilize US goals