The United States women's national soccer team defeated Japan 5-2 Sunday, giving the U.S. its third Women's World Cup title and first since 1999.
Other than defender Christie Rampone, who was a member of the 1999 team, every United States player earned her first World Cup title, including six former members of the North Carolina women's soccer team.
Ashlyn Harris, Whitney Engen, Lori Chalupny, Heather O'Reilly, Meghan Klingenberg and Tobin Heath, all of whom played for UNC, were selected to the Women's World Cup roster back in April. Sunday, the months of hard work and training finally paid off.
What was predicted to be a tight game between both sides quickly turned south for Japan, who knocked off the U.S. in the 2011 World Cup final in penalty kicks. In just the third minute, Carli Lloyd gave the United States the lead off of a corner kick. Two minutes later, she struck again.
By the 16th minute, the United States stretched its lead to 4-0. It was the start they needed but one that almost no one had expected.