The USWNT Unbeaten Streak Is Spectacular – and Intriguing

At the time of writing, the USWNT unbeaten streak is at an astounding 36 games. It’s not their longest streak ever, but it is impressive nonetheless. The Stars and Stripes often look unstoppable, and with stars like Crystal Dunn, Christen Press, and Rose Lavelle leading the way, there’s no end in sight.

While every team wants to win, a team on an unbeaten streak is something else. Opponents are unified by a common goal of wanting to take them down. There’s a specific kind of energy in the air felt when this dynamic occurs. Of course, very few teams in the world have what it takes to take down the USWNT when they start dominating like this.

A team on a winning streak is dangerous. If you think about a giant boulder rolling down a hill, it rolls faster and faster the further down the hill it gets. It continuously gains velocity and becomes harder and harder to stop. However, along with the increasing speed and force comes the potential for destruction. Case in point: heading into the 2016 Olympic quarterfinal against Sweden, the USWNT hadn’t lost a match since 2014. Then, they stunned fans by falling to Sweden in one of their earliest major tournament exits ever.

Confidence fuels a soccer team on a winning streak. There may not be an actual statistical advantage for a winning team to keep winning, but teams on a streak have a psychological edge. We see it happen in individual soccer players a lot; a teammate may have three unusually fantastic games in a row. Imagine an entire team catching fire in total harmony at the same time.

So how does it happen?

If you won a game, you successfully scored. Since you scored so recently and consistently throughout consecutive games, you will probably start thinking the odds are good that you’ll score this time too. Those micro-hesitations you might get in front of the goal if you’ve been missing shots lately dissipate. Defensively, you might be super attuned to your gut instincts while making important decisions on the field. Building this immediate successful history with yourself and your teammates game to game may lead to deepening trust in both your own and your teammates’ capabilities.

You may begin taking more shots. You may even see scoring opportunities you wouldn’t if you’ve been in poor form. Soon, you’re capitalizing on barely-there opportunities and creating something out of nothing all over the field.

The USWNT may not win and score every game, but grinding out the occasional tie against top opponents to keep their unbeaten streak alive is an accomplishment all its own. The USWNT’s other-wordly ability to not lose is exactly what other teams want to stop.

Some USWNT Stats

–  Between July 1990 and May 1991, they had an 18-game winning streak.

–  Between February and July 1996, they had a 15-game winning streak.

– The USWNT holds the record for the longest winning streak in World Cup matches with 12 wins in 2019.

– The USWNT had a 104-game home unbeaten streak until Abby Wambach’s final match, a loss to China in December 2015.

How do they uphold their streaks?

No one wants to let themselves, their teammates, or their fans down. This pressure can be motivating or completely psych you out depending on what kind of player you are. The ability to stay present and focus on one game at a time is essential in maintaining a streak. The USWNT is incredibly psychologically resilient. Only time will tell when their superb run of form will end.

Featured Image via @USWNT on Instagram



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