Princeton alum Diana Matheson became the first Ivy Leaguer to score in an Olympic contest, and the first Ivy to net a gamewinner, as her tally in the 92nd minute of the Bronze medal match between Canada and France gave the Canadians a 1-0 victory.
Matheson’s goal gave Canada its first-ever Olympic medal in soccer, as the team made its debut in Beijing in 2008, when it finished eighth. It marks the country’s first Summer Games medal in a traditional team sport since a silver in men’s basketball in 1936.
Scoreless after 90 minutes, two minutes of injury time was added. With a minute remaining in stoppage time, Canada’s Sophie Schmidt took a shot that French goalkeeper Sarah Bouhaddi stopped but was unable to corral. The ball fell to Matheson, alone in front of the goal, and the former Tiger sent the ball to the back of the net to give Canada the win.
Both teams were coming off of one-goal losses in the semifinals, but France 2-1 defeat to Japan took just 90 minutes, while Canada’s 4-3 loss to Team USA went more than 120 minutes. The French outshot Canada, 25-4, but was unable to make good on its opportunities. Matheson, however, took her one chance and struck Bronze.
Matheson has been a workhorse in the Canadian midfield for the duration of the 2012 Olympics, playing in every minute of Canada’s six games thus far – including a full 120 against the U.S. She has added five shots, including putting four on goal.
Diana Matheson Princeton ’08, Canada (women’s soccer)
– Group F Play: Japan def. Canada, 2-1 (Matheson 90 mins. played)
– Group F Play: Canada def. South Africa, 3-0 (Matheson 90 mins. played, 2 SOG)
– Group F Play: Canada tied Sweded, 2-2 (Matheson 90 mins. played, 2 Shots, 1 SOG)
– Quarterfinals: Canada def. Great Britain, 2-0 (Matheson 90 mins. played, 1 shot)
– Semifinals: USA def. Canada, 4-3 (extra time) (Matheson 120 mins. played)
– Bronze Medal Game: Canada def. France, 1-0 (Matheson 90 mins. played)
The Ivy League’s 49 athletes at the 2012 London Games have combined for 15 medals thus far, including five Gold, four Silver and six Bronze medals.