OTTAWA - Several hours before they dispatched China in a Women's World Cup quarterfinal Friday night, members of the United States national team already felt like winners.
Players were aglow about the Supreme Court's historic ruling that legalized same-sex marriage nationwide.
At least two players are openly gay -- veteran striker Abby Wambach and midfielder Megan Rapinoe -- as well as coach Jill Ellis. They all welcomed the news of the decision.
In fact, if the USA had scored another goal against China in what turned into a 1-0 win at Lansdowne Stadium, the team had a special goal celebration planned.
"We would have given a shout-out to the Supreme Court making the decision that they did because obviously it impacts my life personally," said Wambach, who married soccer player Sarah Huffman on Oct. 5, 2013, in Hawaii.
"Everybody on our team was super-excited and happy about it," Wambach said of the ruling. "And to cap it off with a win, moving on to the semis in the World Cup, for me, it doesn't get better."
Ditto for Rapinoe, who did not play in the China match because of a yellow-card suspension.
"Just amazing," she said. "That's an amazing feeling, obviously. Something that you can't really put into words. It's something that's maybe a little overwhelming for them to just strike it totally across the board. I'm so proud to be American today, for that reason and many others."
After the announcement, U.S. Soccer tweeted on its women's national team account its "One Nation One Team" slogan with a rainbow theme.
"More than ever, today we are #OneNationOneTeam. #LoveWins," the tweet read.
"I was actually very honored with what U.S. Soccer put out," said Ellis, who lives with her partner, Betsy Stephenson, in South Florida. "When I saw it, I was very moved. Our players, they're great role models. To have that now to be something that all of us can embrace, no matter where we live in the country, I think it's tremendous, a tremendous step for our country and certainly somebody who benefits from that, I'm extremely pleased for everybody in the nation and the LGBT community."