While there is always something exciting going on in the world of soccer, the Union of European Football Associations (UEFA) Women’s Euro (stylized as “EURO”) competition this summer was a highlight of the season. The EUROs occur every four years, with the men’s and women’s competition taking place back to back. England hosted the men’s and women’s tournaments this time around, which took place in summer 2021 and summer 2022 respectively.
Having had the men’s team—also known as the Three Lions—make it to the finals in 2021 and then lose in a heartbreaking penalty shootout, England could have been reluctant to get their hopes up for their women’s team. Instead, chants of “Football is coming home,” were heard throughout the nation as the Lionesses battled through the tournament.
After handily winning Group A at the beginning of the tournament, the Lionesses moved on to play a strong Spain side in the quarter finals. Falling behind just after half-time, it took until the last ten minutes of regular time for Ella Toone to level the score, with Georgia Stanway cinching the winner in extra time.
In the semi finals, England showed their incredible goalscoring quality, beating the Swedes 4-0, who were ranked second in the world prior to this tournament. After a slow start, Beth Mead, Lucy Bronze, Alessia Russo, and Fran Kirby all found the back of the net to send England to the finals.
England and Germany faced off for the title on Sunday, July 31. Wembley Stadium was packed with a record-breaking 87,192 spectators. After a scoreless first half, Ella Toone put England ahead early in the second. For a while, that looked to have been enough, but Germany’s Lina Magull took the game to extra time with a late goal. After twenty-one nerve-wracking minutes of extra time, Chloe Kelly’s magnificent strike found the back of the net. Nine minutes later, Wembley Stadium rang with cheers as England celebrated their first international trophy—men’s or women’s—since 1966.
Isabella Ginsburg ’23 enjoyed watching the tournament and was pleased that England won. “[It was a] fantastic performance by the Lionesses […] I am looking forward to the Women’s World Cup in 2023!” she exclaimed.
Everyone else should be excited for the World Cup as well. Women’s soccer has grown massively in the past decade, and if the EUROs were any indication, it should be another tournament to remember.