The United States was up 2-1 against England in the semifinals of the Women’s World Cup on Tuesday. In the 84th minute, all eyes were on England’s Steph Houghton who could tie the match with a penalty kick. The only person stopping her was U.S. goalkeeper -- and Stratford, Connecticut native -- Alyssa Naeher.
NAEHER SAVES!!!!!!!!!! pic.twitter.com/h4JqFFLylY
— FOX Soccer (@FOXSoccer) July 2, 2019
Her twin sister Amanda Naeher was in the stands to watch her twin sister step up.
"When the [video assistant referee] came back that they were giving them a penalty, we all held our breath for a second and then regrouped," she said. "We got excited for Alyssa and the moment that she was potentially going to have and she owned it."
Amanda Naeher said this moment was the culmination of a lot of moments – lots of time training, and energy – so Alyssa would be fully prepared.
The U.S. Women’s National Team has made news beyond the pitch during the World Cup, from a lawsuit over equal pay, to very public criticism from President Donald Trump.
Women’s soccer player, @mPinoe, just stated that she is “not going to the F...ing White House if we win.” Other than the NBA, which now refuses to call owners, owners (please explain that I just got Criminal Justice Reform passed, Black unemployment is at the lowest level...
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) June 26, 2019
"They are all on a unique platform and they are all in a position where people are listening," said Amanda Naeher. "I think it's really cool that they stand up for their convictions and they speak the truth that they believe. They're a team and so they've got each other's backs and I think they've done a good job."
Alyssa Naeher’s clutch save sent the top-ranked U.S. team to the World Cup finals against either the Netherlands or Sweden in what will be the Americans' third straight appearance in the title match.
Tucker Ives contributed to this report.