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7 Things About Today’s U.S. Women’s Soccer Hero Alex Morgan

| August 6, 2012
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US forward Alex Morgan (L) and Canada's defender Lauren Sesselman compete during the London 2012 Olympic women's football semifinal match between the US Canada at Old Trafford in Manchester, north-west England, on August 6, 2012. (Paul Ellis/AFP/Getty Images)

US forward Alex Morgan (L) and Canada's defender Lauren Sesselman compete during the London 2012 Olympic women's football semifinal match between the US Canada at Old Trafford in Manchester, north-west England, on August 6, 2012. (Paul Ellis/AFP/Getty Images)

GOOOOOOOAAAAAALLLL!!!!

University of California, Berkeley, graduate Alex Morgan gave American sports fans a thrill Monday when she scored the winning goal in the U.S. women’s soccer team’s semifinal victory over Canada. But even casual Olympics watchers were probably familiar with her name before her tally sent the national team to the gold medal match. Morgan, 23, has emerged as one of the stars of the London games, partnering with teammate Abby Wambach to give the U.S. a fearsome front line.

But you may not have known that her skills have earned her international recognition since she was a teen; or that she was a top draft pick of a pro team in Buffalo, N.Y. Seven tidbits about Alex Morgan:

1. A Diamond Bar native, Morgan scored 45 goals during her Cal career, which was the third-most in Golden Bears’ history when she graduated in 2010.

2. She scored this crazy goal against Korea in the final of the 2008 U-20 Women’s World Cup. FIFA, soccer’s governing body, named it the second-best goal of the year.

3. In 2011, she was the No. 1 overall pick of the Western New York Flash in the 2011 Women’s Professional Soccer draft.

4. Her name was trending on Twitter after her winning goal Monday against Canada.

5. Her forbears include a Mayflower passenger and descendants of kings Henry II of England and William I of Scotland.

6. She appeared in the 2012 Sports Illustrated swimsuit edition wearing nothing but body paint.

7. She makes stuff like this look easy:

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