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U.S. WOMEN'S NATIONAL TEAM

December 30, 2008
THE YEARíS BESTóNo. 2
Angela Hucles leads U.S. in scoring at Olympics


Angela Hucles was the second leading scorer at the Beijing Olympics behind Brazil's Cristiane.
Angela Hucles was the second leading scorer at the Beijing Olympics behind Brazil's Cristiane.
Linda Cuttone/Sports Vue Images
After trading Angela Hucles from the Boston Breakers five years ago, U.S. women's national coach Pia Sundhage admitted she didn't have the heart to cut the forward from the National Team.

It turned out to be the best move Sundhage never made. Hucles was one of the key U.S. players as the Americans captured their second straight Olympic Gold Medal.

She emerged as one of the more unlikely heroes of an American team in desperate need of a star, a personality and a scoring threat, especially after Abby Wambach, who filled those three roles, broke her left leg less than a month before the Games. Entering the Olympics, Hucles had underachieved internationally, scoring only eight times in 88 appearances. But in China, she found the back of the net four times in five matches and was second only to Brazil's Cristiane (five goals) among scorers.

After being held scoreless in the first two games, Hucles connected in the 4-1 victory over New Zealand and in the 2-1 quarterfinal win over Canada. She connected twice in a 4-2 victory over Japan in the semi-finals to set up the Gold Medal confrontation with Brazil.
   
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