Tournament standout Carli Llyod scored 3 goals in a dominant effort by the Americans Sunday in Vancouver

By Tiare Dunlap
July 05, 2015 08:00 PM

The USA has won the Women’s World Cup final, beating Japan 5 to 2. Midfielder Carli Lloyd was the game hero, scoring three goals in the first half, including one incredible shot taken from midfield.

The match marked a record fourth World Cup final appearance for the U.S. team and a record third Women’s World Cup trophy.

The face-off was somewhat of a grudge match for the U.S. Women’s National Team, which lost to Japan in the 2011 World Cup final in a penalty-kick shootout after a dramatic 2-2 tie through extra time.

“To this day, I think we lost the tournament,” embattled U.S. goalie Hope Solo told reporters. “I don’t think Japan beat us. We gave up that big goal, two goals, so really, that was our fault.”

Solo – who remained focused on the field despite the ongoing media spectacle surrounding her 2014 arrest over domestic violence allegationsrecently told PEOPLE that despite her decorated career (including two Olympic gold medals), “I don’t think I’ll ever feel great about it unless we win a World Cup.”

The Americans came into the game riding high, following their most impressive performance of the tournament thus far in the 2-0 semifinal win against top-ranked Germany. That game last Tuesday set an American television ratings record with an average audience of 8.4 million views, the largest for a World Cup semifinal involving men or women, Sports Illustrated reports.