Wednesday, April 16, 2014

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Fans Watch Abby Wambach Lead U.S. Team to Victory

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Rochester: Fans Watch Abby Wambach Lead U.S. Team to Victory
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Abby Wambach led the American comeback, to the delight of the fans at the Back Nine Grill in Pittsford. The U.S. women's soccer team rallied from two goals back to a 4-2 victory over France as they begin their quest for Olympic gold.

After going down 0-2 early, the U.S. team fought back, starting with a header goal from Wambach. Alex Morgan then scored two goals.

Their next game is Saturday against Columbia.

It wasn’t quite the 1,000 or so people that turned out last year for the Women's World Cup finals, but it was a nice crowd none the less for a Wednesday afternoon. They came to the Back Nine Bar and Grill for the opening match of the Olympic Soccer Tournament, with the U.S. women taking on France.

The Back Nine is owned and operated by Matt Wambach, Abby Wambach's brother. Abby tweeted last week that those showing up here for the opener against France wearing a Wambach jersey would get their first drink on her.

"It's awesome. It really is like the buildup of an entire year of experiences,” Matt said. “ I can just hope that someday down the road that they have more events. It goes from World Cup to Olympics then a few years off. What I'd really like to see is U.S. Cup or the Nike Cup come back into play in that off year time."

The kitchen is a hectic place for events like this. Orders can get backed up but things ran quite smoothly. The menu even featured some specials exclusively for this game.

"Anything that the ladies like. Today we have a lot of fresh fruit, a fresh chicken and craisin salad and, of course, our flat breads that we're pretty famous for here,” said Earl Young, head chef.

With the game beginning at noon, many stopped in during their lunch hour from work. Others are soccer junkies, including the American Outlaws, a group of soccer enthusiasts that follow Team USA.

"Everybody loves Abby. We love Alex Morgan, she played for the Flash last year right here in Rochester. There's a lot of local support for our girls but nationally Abby's just an amazingly strong player and we just love watching her play,” said Shane Badger, of Irondequoit.

The crowd was somewhat subdued after France opened a 0-2 lead in the first 15 minutes of play. Then Abby scored to get the U.S. back in the match.

"You didn't expect them to go down 2-nil less than 15 minutes into the game. It's just unheard of,” said Shantal Fillion of Rochester.

And then…

“Oh, Abby scores. So now we're only down 2-1."

That goal by Abby was the first of four unanswered for the U.S., including two by Alex Morgan, who played last year for the Western New York Flash, in a 4-2 win for the U.S.

The Americans will be back at it Saturday against Columbia and many of these fans will be right back here watching it at the Back Nine.

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