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2012 Olympics, USA vs. Japan Soccer: Hope Solo Leads U.S. To Gold Medal

After losing a heartbreaker in the World Cup final last summer, the United States got their revenge over Japan on Thursday. With a gold medal up for grabs in London, Team USA used an early goal and phenomenal goalkeeping from Hope Solo to propel them to a 2-1 win. The match was played in front of nearly 80,300, which is the largest soccer crowd in Olympics history.

Solo, who is from Washington and plays with the Seattle Sounders, was tested early and often throughout the 92 minutes of play. She continually turned Japan away, doing so with a bevy of diving stops. Solo stopped 12 of the 13 shots she faced against a very technically sound Japanese attack.

Carli Lloyd was the hero for Team USA, scoring both goals. She connected on a header in the eighth minute, giving the U.S. an early 1-0 lead. Lloyd scored yet again in the 54th minute, this time striking it in from just outside the box.

Japan made things interesting late. They scored in the 63rd minute to keep themselves in contention for gold. Despite numerous scoring opportunities late, their forwards were unable to find the back of the net.

This is the third-straight gold medal for the United States in women's soccer.

Stick with the SB Nation Seattle StoryStream for more coverage of local athletes at the 2012 Olympic Games. For more on the 2012 Olympic Games, make sure that you check out SB Nation's dedicated Olympics hub.