The Americans advanced to the semifinals with one of the most riveting victories in the history of the World Cup - men's or women's - beating old foe Brazil 5-3 in penalty kicks after a 2-2 tie. One key player in the victory hails from Northern Virginia.
When Ali Krieger hammered the last penalty into the bottom left corner of the net, the Americans let loose with a raucous celebration that soon spread back to the United States.
Her former travel soccer teammates in Prince William County were watching, their kids wearing Krieger’s Number 11 jersey.
“My mom and I were screaming, jumping around,” said Kristin Brunner. “We were so excited.”
“It was surreal, it’s amazing to see someone that you played with for so long, and you’re just so happy for them,” said former teammate Teresa McFadden.
The two women played with Krieger for years in the PW Sparklers, winning six state championships and reaching the national finals. The team was coached by Krieger’s father Ken.
“She just always brought the level of competition up,” McFadden said.
The 26-year-old Dumfries native was a standout at Forest Park High School, her former coach says.
“I always liked her passion towards playing. She would play with guys, she’d play with anybody to try to improve her play,“ Krieger’s former choach David Cheshire said.
At Penn State, Krieger switched from offense to defense and went pro. Sunday was her biggest day yet. Already she’s inspiring the next generation.
“I’ve been working hard to do it and I really want the same thing she has,” said 11-year-old Tia Walter.
The U.S. team will play France in the semifinals on Wednesday. If they win that game, Ali Krieger and her team will face either Japan or Sweden in the championship game.