Briana Scurry, the U.S. women's national team goalkeeper, admitted to letting her eyes and attention wander during the United States' first Women's World Cup match. Her team, after all, won by a comfortable three-goal margin. And Scurry, like her teammates, found herself awed by the nearly 80,000 fans who packed Giants Stadium for the match. She couldn't help but peek at the crowd.
Things will be different at Thursday's quarterfinal between the United States and Germany at Jack Kent Cooke Stadium. Don't expect Scurry to be counting empty seats in the upper bowl. Don't expect her to be doing anything other than studying Germany's attacking players, or shouting instructions to her teammates. Scurry is so focused as Thursday's game approaches, she's not even promising to run nude through the city streets like she did during the 1996 Olympics.
A University of Massachusetts grad, Scurry grew up in Dayton, Minn., a small town south of St. Paul. She started learning the goalkeeper position when, at age 12, she joined a boys' league -- there was no girls' soccer at the time -- and the boys demanded that she play in goal, or not play at all. Though other kids disliked the position, Scurry said she embraced "the idea that the other team can't win if they can't score on me."
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