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Carli Lloyd leads United States to World Cup victory

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If there was any drama to the women’s World Cup Final, well, Carli Lloyd kicked that out of the way, too.

Lloyd decided things quickly, scoring a hat trick in the first 16 minutes of the game. The Americans jumped to a 4-0 lead, then coasted for their first championship in 16 years, beating the defending champions from Japan in a 5-2 victory.

Lloyd scored the quickest goal in the history of the finals when she scored three minutes into the game. She added a second goal in the fifth minute and her third in the 16th. Her three goals gave her six in the final four games of the tournament. She was the first player to score a hat trick in the finals, and the third to score a hat trick in the tournament.

The United States became the first country to win three World Cups, adding to the victories in 1991 and 1999.

This will be a team that will be remembered for a remarkable blend of skill and stories. Lloyd, the young woman who took the tournament by storm. Hope Solo, the controversial goaltender. Abby Wambach, trying to squeeze a World Cup title out of an illustrious career. And the rest of them.

For the Americans, it offset a bitter defeat on penalty kids from 2011, a game in which the United States led twice.

Lauren Holiday and Tobin Heath also scored for the Americans. The Japanese got goals from Yuki Ogimi and an own-goal from the United States’ Julie Johnston.

Lloyd won the Golden Ball award as the top player in the tournament as well. United States goaltender Solo won the Golden Glove award as the top goaltender. Solo recorded five shutouts in the tournament and gave up only three goals including the own-goal.

The game was also a nice moment for former University of Florida player Wambach, who at 35 finally won her elusive World Cup. Wambach has 183 career goals.

Gary Shelton is one of the most recognized and honored sportswriters in the history of the state. He has won the APSE's national columnist of the year twice and finished in the top 10 eight times. He was named the Florida Sportswriter of the Year six times. Gary joined SaintPetersBlog in the spring, helping to bring a sports presence to the website. Over his time in sports writing, Gary has covered 29 Super Bowls, 10 Olympics, Final Fours, Masters, Wimbledons and college national championships. He was there when the Bucs won a Super Bowl, when the Lightning won a Stanley Cup and when the Rays went to a World Series. He has seen Florida, FSU and Miami all win national championships, and he covered Bear Bryant, Bobby Bowden and Don Shula along the way. He and his wife Janet have four children: Eric, Kevin, K.C. and Tori. To contact, visit garysheltonsports@gmail.com.

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