U.S. Women's Olympic Hockey Team Advances to Semifinals

Team USA will now play against the winner of the Finland vs. Japan quarterfinals game

US Womens Hockey
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Team USA has made it to the semifinals round of the Olympic women's hockey tournament.

The U.S. women's hockey team defeated the Czech Republic, 4-1, in the quarterfinals on Friday. Hilary Knight, Lee Stecklein, and Savannah Harmon all scored goals for the U.S., with Kendall Coyne Schofield cinching the victory with a fourth goal, coming just seconds before the final buzzer.

The Russian Olympic Committee and Switzerland have yet to face off in the quarterfinals, and Finland and Japan are also set to play. The semifinal match between the winner of the Finland vs. Japan game and Team USA will be this weekend.

Team USA's women's hockey team has medaled in every Olympics since the sport was introduced as an event at the 1998 Olympics in Nagano, with the Americans taking the inaugural gold. Since then, they've won three silvers, a bronze and an additional gold in PyeongChang 2018.

Heading into the Games, veteran U.S. team member Hilary Knight spoke to PEOPLE about the Olympic competition, but was hesitant to name the team's hardest opponents: "I don't want to take any country lightly."

"Each country is going to present its own challenge," she said. "Obviously Canada and Finland are extremely good and Russia is good as well. So it'll really be interesting to see. And we haven't been able to play any of these guys for quite some time now just because of COVID."

US Womens Hockey
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Knight also spoke about what it feels like to compete on the world stage, admitting that she doesn't experience nerves in a typical way, but rather "that uneasy feeling in your stomach, where the hair on the back of your neck stands up. Because there's nothing like it. It's like that adrenaline rush that it's about to be go-time and the anticipation of a puck drop, and that's when I'm happiest. So I look forward to it."

She's was also looking forward to wearing a "Team USA" again.

US Womens Hockey
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"To be united all together cheering one another on, knowing that we're a part of something bigger than ourselves, is a pretty unique and really cool feeling."

To learn more about Team USA, visit TeamUSA.org. Watch the Winter Olympics, now, and the Paralympics, beginning March 4, on NBC.

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