While all eyes were on Carli Lloyd's first-half hat trick Sunday evening, two Wahoos, Becky Sauerbrunn and Morgan Brian, got the start in today's Women's World Cup Finals between the United States and Japan, where the Americans displayed complete dominance over the Japanese, 5-2. This earned the United States Women's National Team their third World Cup title in seven appearances.
A 2007 alumna and former three-time All-American, Sauerbrunn was described as the most underrated player in the tournament as part of a defense that allowed to just one goal prior to Sunday night's finale.
As the youngest member of the US. Women's National Team, Brian is probably just happy to be along for the ride, you might think. Well, you'd be wrong. When Lauren Holiday picked up a yellow card against Colombia, it gave Brian the chance to shine against China, an opportunity she immediately seized upon.
Brian didn't do it with much flash. She sat in on defense. She won 50-50s. She made herself available to pass. All in all, she knew she was in a supporting role, and that's exactly what she did.
Then the world really learned Brian's name when she was involved in that ghastly collision against Germany.
Against Japan, both Sauerbrunn and Brian were in the starting eleven and played the full 90 minutes. Brian found her way into the box score in the 54th minute on an assist to Tobin Heath's goal. Here she is, off-camera, but you can at least hear her name on the pass.
Two members of the coaching staff also have Virginia connections. USWNT Head Coach Jill Ellis was an assistant coach at Virginia from 1996-1997, while USWNT Assistant Coach Steve Swanson is the current Virginia women's head coach, having coached both Sauerbrunn and Brian.