At the end of the ladies short program, the United States was situated in third place, up from seventh, thanks to Wagner, and ice dancing pair Meryl Davis and Charlie White's performances.
Only the top five teams advanced to Sunday night's finals.
Wagner said her performance -- which earned her a 63.10 -- helped redeem the nay-sayers who didn't understand why she was picked for the Olympic team, even though she placed fourth in the U.S. Figure Skating Championships last month.
“It was tough going out there after a disappointing Nationals so it was important for me to redeem myself,” Wagner said. “I got the triple-triple out there, so I’m pleased. It was a different kind of pressure because it’s the team event.”
"I know roughly when I skate a good program where the score should end up. ... So yeah to score that low was very disappointing for me," she said after her score was announced. "But honestly this performance was more for myself and mentally getting beyond this past couple of weeks. And I wanted to do everything I could to help out the team, and I really feel that I delivered on that part.''