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Mesa's Julie Ertz and USWNT gold medal hopes dashed after loss to Canada

The U.S. women's soccer team will now have to beat Australia to get the bronze medal on Thursday.
Credit: AP
Canada's Adriana Leon, left, and Mesa native Julie Ertz battle for the ball during a women's semifinal soccer match at the 2020 Summer Olympics, Monday, Aug. 2, 2021, in Kashima, Japan.(AP Photo/Fernando Vergara)

TOKYO, Japan — The chance for Mesa native Julie Ertz to win a gold medal in the Tokyo Olympics has passed. 

In her first Olympic semifinals, Ertz and the U.S. women's soccer team suffered a heartbreaking 1-0 loss to team Canada on Monday, making it the first time Canada beat the U.S. in two decades.

Heading into the Olympics, the USWNT had a 44-match unbeaten run and hadn't been shut out since July 27, 2017. However, they've been shut out three times in the last 13 days, losing twice. 

Now they'll need to beat Australia to get a bronze medal.

RELATED: Canada upsets US with 1-0 win in women's soccer

The world got its first look at Julie Ertz during the 2015 World Cup, according to the U.S. Soccer website. 

"The Chicago Red Stars defender, NWSL Rookie of the Year, and 23-year-old starting center back was a dominant ball-winner in the U.S.’s run to the title," the website said.

RELATED: Mesa native Julie Ertz one step away from a Tokyo Olympic medal after USWNT beats the Netherlands in penalty kick overtime

Ertz admits that sports helped her grow and without them, she wouldn’t have been able to attend college because of how expensive it is, the governance body's website said. She and her husband created the Ertz Family Foundation, a charity that creates opportunities for children in sports and education.

This is the second straight Olympics that the United States has been knocked out of contention for the gold medal match. 

The Americans were bounced from the 2016 Games by Sweden in the quarterfinals. The U.S. team goes on to play in the bronze medal match in Kashima at 1 a.m. MST Thursday. 

The gold medal game will be between Canada and Sweden at 7 p.m. MST Thursday.

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