Her role in the win was especially gratifying to her because she had been benched before the Olympics began.
Lloyd, a midfielder who turned 30 last month, could now marvel at how she "came out of nowhere" to head the ball smack into the corner of the net, scoring the first goal, and then followed up with the winning kick. The memory, she said, "brought tears to her eyes."
It was an encore performance. Four years earlier, at the Beijing Games, she had scored the goal that had beaten Brazil and earned her first gold medal.
Victory in London also brought sweet redemption for the U.S. team, which had lost to the Japanese in the World Cup final just a year earlier.
On Tuesday, Lloyd reunited with her beloved trainer, James Galanis, at his Universal Soccer Academy in Lumberton.
She said that Galanis has had the most influence over her soccer career and that she spent much of the last decade doing grueling drills and mentally preparing for international games with him at her side.
Lloyd, a Delran native and Rutgers University graduate who played for the prestigious Medford Strikers as a youngster, shared a quiet moment with Galanis, but the two were soon surrounded on the field by the elite academy's 60 students, who had been working out.
"Everybody was a part of" the victory in London, "even the four alternates," Lloyd told them. She answered their questions and allowed them to examine and touch her two Olympic gold medals.
Over the years, Lloyd had participated in scrimmages with some of the older players, and she seemed at home on the academy's well-worn field. She signed the students' soiled soccer balls, cleats, goalie gloves, water bottles, T-shirts - even one boy's belly.
Elizabeth McBride, 18, of the Holmesburg section of Philadelphia, said she asked Lloyd how she had "mentally prepared for the big moment" when she finally had the opportunity to "prove the doubters wrong."
Lloyd told her that "she just kept focused on what she was going to do," McBride said as a hint of admiration crept into her voice. "She knew she was prepared for that opportunity and that it was going to come."
Zach Colton, 17, of Tabernacle, cherishes the times he has scrimmaged with Lloyd, but said he takes precautions because you "never want to be that guy who hurt the Olympian." Lloyd offers proof, he said, of "the benefits you reap from real hard work."
In an interview, Lloyd said that when she was asked by her Olympic coach, Pia Sundhage, to sit on the sidelines - with little hope of starting in any of the games - she was very upset but did "not pout."
"I wanted to cry, but I knew eventually [the training] would pay off. . . . You just need to persevere," she said.
Lloyd regained her spot when one of the starters was injured, and she quickly made her mark.
Over the next few weeks, Lloyd said, she will force herself to take "a needed break."
Though the next World Cup and the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Olympics are still in her sights, she said she wants to spend time with her boyfriend, a golf pro at a local course.
Then she will head off for a 10-game exhibition tour across the country with the champion U.S. team, beginning next month in Rochester, N.Y. (There's more information at http://www.philly.com/victorytour.) Lloyd also is lining up appearances and speeches.
On Saturday, she plans to run a four-hour training session at the camp, for which the $120 tickets quickly sold out soon after the game against Japan.
Galanis said 100 students have signed up and a waiting list is growing. He said Lloyd may hold a second session in the next few weeks.
"She will demonstrate the drills and then will go through the mental habits" needed to be a winner, Galanis said. What made her a true champion, he said, was not just her athleticism and work ethic, but her ability to perform under pressure.
"Most athletes fold under pressure," he said. "But champs thrive under pressure. . . . Carli has totally grasped that."
Contact Jan Hefler at 856-779-3224 or email@example.com,