The United States women are just two wins away from a gold medal at the 2012 Olympics and as is always the case, the Americans are powered by a few Bruins. Lauren Cheney played so well over the last year that some even floated the idea that she might be the best player on the team and Sydney Leroux is a bright, young star for the team who has proven to be a valuable striker off of the bench at just 22 years old. There is also Jill Ellis, an assistant for the American team who was the Bruins' head coach for years.
Today, that Bruin-filled U.S. team takes on Canada in the Olympic semifinals. The Americans have been perfect so far in the tournament, cruising through the group stage with three wins in as many matches and outscoring their opponents, 8-2, before easily handling New Zealand, 2-0, in the quarterfinals. That quarterfinal win included a goal by Leroux, who put the match to bed with a fine finish late on.
The U.S. are huge favorites in this match, having gone 11 years without losing to their rivals from up north, but they will need Cheney to step up. As well as she has played in the last year, she has struggled in the Olympics. if she can put in a good match, the U.S. should be able to get in front and then be able to bring Leroux off the bench, where her speed should be able to torch Canada's tired legs.
The match gets underway at 11:45 am PT on NBC Sports Network and is streaming at NBCOlympics.com. Should the Americans win, they will play Japan in the gold medal match with the chance to avenge last year's loss in the Women's World Cup final. Hopefully they get the job done today and again on Thursday to get Cheney and Leroux their first major international title. Go USA and go Bruins!