This Week in Bears: Alex Morgan wins 2nd Women’s World Cup

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Alex Morgan, US team lift 2019 Women’s World Cup trophy

It was only eight years ago when Cal women’s soccer forward Alex Morgan’s senior season was cut short after she was propelled into the U.S. women’s national soccer team. She went to the 2011 FIFA Women’s World Cup with the U.S. team as a substitute, but she left as a future superstar. On Sunday, she lifted her second consecutive World Cup trophy. And that’s the tea.

Morgan, named team captain in the semifinal, played a key role in helping the U.S. team become back-to-back champions, scoring six goals in a three-way tie for most goals scored in the tournament. Her dominant hold-up play and ability to dissect opposing defenses throughout the tournament gave life to the U.S. attack, while her finishing made history.

In the United States’ first group stage game against Thailand, Morgan tied the Women’s World Cup single-game scoring record, netting five goals that led to a historic 13-0 win. Her heartfelt moment with former Cal player and current Thai striker Miranda Nild after the lopsided win was just one of the many lasting images of this tournament.

The U.S. team partied like it was 2015 in front of New York City Hall to celebrate as chants of “Equal pay!” resonated throughout the fans in attendance. Morgan and 27 other national team players filed a lawsuit in March fighting for equitable pay. Wednesday’s parade ended with a confetti shower made of papers from the lawsuit.

 

Alicia Wilson wins gold in Naples

Cal sophomore swimmer Alicia Wilson finished first in the 200-meter individual medley at the World University Games in Naples, Italy, on Sunday. After finishing 10th and 18th in the 200-meter at the Pac-12 and NCAA championships, respectively, Wilson’s road to the top is all the more impressive.

As a freshman, Wilson gradually improved as the season went along, recording a personal best time of 1:55.77 in a 200-yard medley earlier in the season. 

 

Early Cal football rankings released

ESPN ranked Cal 55th in its Football Power Index — an in-house stat generator that ranks the country’s top college football programs — and projected that the team will finish 10th in the Pac-12, with a mere 0.1 percent chance of winning the conference

With a talented crop of seniors departing last season, head coach Justin Wilcox heads into his third full season with a lot to prove. Cal’s defense is slated to be one of the country’s best — Bleacher Report projects that Cal will have the fifth-best defense in 2019 — but it will need to reduce its mistakes on offense to have any hope of challenging for a conference title.

Spencer Golanka is the sports editor. Contact him at [email protected]. Follow him on Twitter at @sgolanka.