By Theresa Gonzalez
Carli Lloyd became a name heard around the world when the two-time Olympic Gold medalist scored the fastest hat trick (made by man or woman) in World Cup history. The hat trick—three goals made by a single player in one match—took place in the first 16 minutes of the 2015 FIFA Women’s World Cup final against Japan. In those minutes, Lloyd became the first person ever to score three goals in a FIFA Women's World Cup final and the second soccer player ever to score a hat trick in any senior FIFA World Cup final. With it she clinched the 2015 FIFA Player of the Year award.
Growing up in Delran, New Jersey, Lloyd showed natural talent as early as age 5 and was a star midfielder at Delran High School. At Rutgers University, she went on winning, becoming the university's all-time leading scorer and the first player in the school’s history to earn first-team all-conference honors for four consecutive years. She was also voted to the NSCAA All-America team three times. When she joined the United States Youth National Team, she reached a crossroads as she was outshined by a team of star players who scored four consecutive Nordic Cup wins. Lloyd was eventually cut from the team and considered quitting the sport.