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The Victor Voice

The Student News Site of Victor Senior High School

The Victor Voice

The Student News Site of Victor Senior High School

The Victor Voice

The US Women’s Soccer Team Cracks Under Pressure


The 4 episode documentary Under Pressure on Netflix takes you behind the scenes of The United States Women’s Soccer Teams (USWNT) build up to the 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup and their disappointing showing during the tournament. 

Most famous sports documentaries take you through the journey of what it takes to win but this docuseries isn’t that. Instead it ends in the teams devastating early exit of the tournament. 

Coming into the tournament the USWNT won back to back world cups in 2015 and 2019. They were expected to 3-peat by many fans across the country. But instead they cracked under the pressure. 

The series follows players of the USWNT in their journey to make the world cup roster and the tournament itself and the heartbreak that followed. Taking an inside look into five specific players on the roster, the extremely talented forward Lynn Williams, the very well known veteran Alex Morgan, the rookie and teenager Alyssa Thompson, National team newcomer Savannah Demelo, and the previous Gothom FC midfielder Kristie Mewis. Diving in deeper to the story of Lynn Williams and the hard work she put in to finally be seen as an elite player for the USWNT

Two time Emmy award-winning director Rebecca Gitlitz wanted this story and she dreamed of it being a “story of powerful women who willed themselves into a pinnacle of power and competition.”

This story was all she hoped for and more. She wanted to bring attention to the women’s game with this piece, she did just that. 

The 2023 Women’s World Cup will go down in history with nearly two million people attending to watch games throughout the tournament, which surpassed the previous record attendance of 1.35 million. 

The games were held in Australia and New Zealand which made it difficult for American supporters to watch. But this didn’t stop the support felt by the USWNT during this tournament and the docuseries shows how they felt that support and even all the pressure that was felt across the world.

The pressure was too much and they underperformed in the tournament group stages which set them to play a great team in Sweden in the first game of the knockout stages. The US fought hard during the game against Sweden but not a single goal set the teams apart during full time or extra time. This meant penalties. 

FIFA Women's World Cup 2023: USWNT photos from New Zealand
US players during penalty shootout

This penalty shootout is well known in the soccer world for the millimeter that forced the US team’s earliest exit in tournament history. With the penalty score being 4-4 Lina Hurtig of Sweden stepped up to the spot. The whistle blew and Hurtig took the shot which Alyssa Naehr (US goalkeeper) initially got a hand on and the US thought they were safe but the ball bounced off Naehrs hand and just barely went over the goal line before Naehr got ahold of it. Then the refs checked the goal line technology and VAR and sure enough it was just over the line. The US were out of the tournament. 

The USWNT felt heartbroken at that moment and towards the end of the documentary a few of the players on the team recap the tournament and share how they felt after their World Cup run was over.

I think that this docuseries is a must watch and shares a great perspective on what it is like to be a dynasty team and have that amount of pressure being put on you. It also shows how much women’s sports is growing and how big this tournament truly was. 

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About the Contributor
Harper Myers
Harper Myers is a Junior attending Victor High School. She is a first year student journalist and a Staff Writer. She plays club lacrosse for Monster Elite Lacrosse and plays for Victor. In her free time, she likes to spend time with family and friends. She is an active member in Key club, and Positive School Climate Committee.

Comments (8)

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  • M

    Matthew LanganMay 20, 2024 at 11:07 am

    I really like this story. It is very interesting. I will be watching this documentary. Nice job Harper!

  • J

    JDMay 15, 2024 at 1:35 pm

    The entire USA knows what distraction brought about the demise of the USWNT. That distraction came in a few different shades of color (hair color). I can’t wait to see how the team rebounds from this huge failure. Hope the team has learned to leave their personal politics in the locker and not bring it to the view of the fans

  • R

    Robin WilliamsMay 15, 2024 at 5:09 am

    I’m a huge woman’s soccer fan . I read the USWNT article and was pleasantly surprised at how well it was written. Well done all those involved. Nice to see politics left out of it for once. Didn’t see much on Rapino thankfully. But am glad she left them before any more damage was done. I truly believe that it was her nasty toxic influence that cost them the world cup and gold in the Olympics. It’s an enormous undertaking to put together a winning team for these world winning events without all the negativity so I look forward to a new and exciting team for the upcoming Olympics and then W.Cup!!! We can do it . But it will be tougher than ever. Go girls , America loves you.

  • L

    Liv McKinnonMay 14, 2024 at 11:24 am


  • D

    DebMay 12, 2024 at 5:10 pm

    Leave politics & drama at home when you show up to practice or a game!
    Plus, it is imperative to LIKE your teammates & build each other up not tear each other down! Soccer is enough of a headgame without all the distractions.IYKYK

  • E

    EthanMay 12, 2024 at 7:36 am

    I’m a pretty well educated middle aged guy with two kids who play soccer, including a daughter who has aspirations to play for the USWNT. This article came across my news feed and I read it thinking it was written by a professional journalist or movie critic. I was surprised to see it was written by a high school student. I found it to be interesting and well written. Hat’s off to you.

  • F

    Felix AgorMay 11, 2024 at 11:44 pm

    Well analyzed and documented. Good job. Thanks for this great memory.

  • M

    Mkhuzo SokoMay 11, 2024 at 7:57 pm

    I love the USWNST and follow them more than the boring men’s team.However the gap with rest of the world has narrowed. Zambia which soundly beat Germany pre World Cup, will be no pushover in Paris. Mark that.