Kelley O’Hara is “beyond sorry” for missing her penalty kick at the 2023 World Cup.
The longtime U.S. women’s national team defender took to Instagram on Sunday to thank those who have supported her after the squad’s Round of 16 loss to Sweden in a penalty shootout. O’Hara missed her kick in the seventh round of the shootout, and then Lina Hurtig buried hers to seal the win for Sweden.
“I love this game so deeply. And when you love something deeply, you give it the ability to break your heart,” O’Hara wrote. ”I know that in sports the outcome of a game is the culmination of a million little moments. However, I was asked to do one job at the final critical moment and I did not execute. For that, I am beyond sorry.”
View this post on Instagram A post shared by Kelley O'Hara (@kelleyohara)
A post shared by Kelley O'Hara (@kelleyohara)
Those who have supported her have kept her from “completely breaking,” she said. And even as some levy criticisms at the USWNT players after their earliest-ever World Cup exit, O’Hara remains proud of what she and her teammates accomplished.
“To every person who has shared kind words with me — thank you,” she continued. “Your goodness has helped keep my heart from completely breaking. I am proud of this team. For each player’s courage, passion and dedication. There is work that needs to be done, there always is, but the future is bright and I will always believe in this team.”
The 35-year-old defender won the 2015 and 2019 World Cup titles with the USWNT, and she also competed in the 2011 tournament.