By Official Florida FC
Tori Penso made history today when she officiated the Women’s World Cup final.
The 38-year-old Stuart native is the first American to officiate a World Cup final. She had the best view inside Stadium Australia when Spain defeated England 1-0.
Penso, after reviewing the Video Assistant Referee, ruled England’s Kiera Walsh handled the ball in the penalty area in the 64th minute.
The opportunity to officiate the final was created when the U.S. women’s national team lost early in the knockout rounds.
Typically, officials from the countries of the losing semifinalists are not selected for the final. In the previous eight Women’s World Cups, the USWNT advanced to at least the semifinal and appeared in five finals.
Fellow Americans Brooke Mayo and Kathryn Nesbitt served as Sunday’s assistants, while Japan’s Yoshimi Yamashita was the fourth official.
Penso, a one-time Vice President for Florida State University’s club soccer team, has served as a referee for a decade.
“It’s the stereotypes that stop us from getting opportunities,” Penso told CNN last week. “Across the globe when we get opportunities we’re more than ready for them, and we deliver.”