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July 6 2015

Congratulations to the U.S. Women's Soccer Team!

Hadley Heath

The U.S. Women's Soccer team made history (again) last night in their first World Cup victory since 1999. The 5-2 win over Japan in the finals was an impressive display of both defensive and offensive prowess. Japan, to their credit, fought back after being down four goals early in the game, but couldn't successfully regain control of the game.

As one of the commentators said, the U.S. team's luggage will be a lot heavier with all the trophies -- both the team trophy and several individual accolades. Carli Lloyd scored a hat trick, the first ever in a women's World Cup Final, and the earliest hat trick in all of World Cup history (three goals in the first 16 minutes of play). She took home the Silver Boot award and the Golden Ball (equivalent to MVP). Hope Solo, U.S. goalie, took home the Golden Glove. 

This is the third U.S. Women's World Cup in history. Previous wins took place in 1999 and 1991.

A lot has changed for the sport of women's soccer since 1991, when only three people met the U.S. Women team's plane on its way back from victory. Last night as the U.S. women fought Japan, the crowd shouted, "I believe the she will win," a spinoff of "I believe that we will win" -- a popular chant during the last Men's World Cup. 

This latest success for women might also be another opportunity for us to re-examine the Title IX statute. Already some commentators are crediting the statute for last night's win. While Title IX was intended to ensure educational equality for boys and girls, the related regulations have essentially turned it into a quota scheme. And this quota scheme is becoming less balanced and more female-friendly as more women attend college than men. 

Of course the flipside of this quota scheme is it's actually more difficult for non-football male athletes to get scholarships under Title IX. Is that really fair? Was last night's win another piece of evidence the Title IX isn't really needed anymore? Wouldn't it be better for colleges to offer scholarships and sports opportunitites based on student demand rather than a quota system?

In any case, last night's victory was a big moment for women's sports, especially soccer, and the players and coaches deserve the high praise and celebration we are currently witnessing. Regardless of quotas, they each worked very hard as individuals and as a team to get to this climactic point in their careers, and they represented the U.S. well. 

Independent Women's Forum is an educational 501(c)(3) dedicated to developing and advancing policies that aren’t just well intended, but actually enhance people’s freedom, choices, and opportunities. IWF is the sister organization of the Independent Women’s Voice.​
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