London - Former Huskers Brittany Timko and Karina LeBlanc each earned a bronze medal on Thursday morning at the 2012 Summer Olympics, as Canada defeated France, 1-0, in the women's soccer bronze-medal game at City of Coventry Stadium. The win was Canada's first in a traditional team sport since the men's basketball team won silver at the 1936 Olympic Games in Berlin.
After losing to France 4-0 in last year's World Cup, the Canadians made the most of their first appearance in the medal round after finishing eighth in their Olympic debut four years ago in Beijing.
Canadian goalkeeper Erin McLeod shined, as she kept France off the board, even though France outshot Canada 25-4 on the day. The game-winning goal came from Diana Matheson, who scored in the 90th minute to break an 0-0 tie.
After getting through group play with a 1-1-1 record, including a 3-0 shutout over South Africa where LeBlanc was in goal, the Canadians advanced to the eight-team tournament. Timko saw action in four games during the Olympics and was on the field when the Canadians captured the bronze medal.
Canada opened tournament play with a 2-0 win over Great Britain on Friday, Aug. 3, at City of Coventry Stadium to setup a semifinal showdown with Team USA.
The two North American squads played one of the best women's soccer games in Olympic history at Old Trafford on Monday, Aug. 6, and Canada nearly advanced to the finals, but Alex Morgan's goal late in double overtime completed a 4-3 comeback win for the Americans. Canadian team captain Christine Sinclair scored all three of Canada's goals in the game.
Timko was a two-time All-American and three-time Big 12 Player of the Year at Nebraska from 2003 to 2006, while LeBlanc holds multiple school records, including shutouts (45.5) and wins (60), that she set during her career from 1998 to 2000.