The Dutch couldn’t stop the powerhouse U.S. Women’s National Team in France, and the rain didn’t stop attendees at Kiwanis Field in Salem from rooting the now two-time defending World Cup champions.
The VBR Star Soccer Club hosted the event on Sunday morning. About 100 soccer fans sat in the covered grandstand to watch the game on a giant screen set up around home plate on the field.
And the overhang came in handy when heavy rains started falling during the game.
When Megan Rapinoe’s penalty kick in the 60th minute broke a scoreless tie, viewers erupted in cheers and “USA” chants.
Rose Lavelle’s rocket that hit the back of the net in the 70th minute, led to “I believe” chants.
VBR Star executive director Danny Beamer, who oversees the club that serves about 1,200 families in 24 Southwest Virginia zip codes, said he understands the value of his players watching women of this caliber.
“This is the highest level game there is,” Beamer said. “This is the World Cup final for women. The best country out of 24 countries that started in the world cup. It’s the biggest women’s sporting event there is. ... They learn from watching the game.”
Club members understand the value of watching the pros.
“I want to be able to learn their techniques and moves to be able to incorporate into my own game,” said Star player Nina Whitaker.