Over the last year, our own Contributing Writer Tia Shah, has been writing an amazing column about trailblazing girls throughout history. This new Incredible Girls column is in that vein, only this column is about contemporary girls under the age of 25 who are doing awe-inspiring and significant things in the world. Every Friday in 2019, we are going to post a column detailing the life of an Incredible Girl and why you should know about her. Read on for a glimpse into the life of soccer champion, Rose Lavelle.
24-year-old soccer star Rose Lavelle has firmly cemented her status as one of the biggest names in American soccer with her decisive goal in the July 7 World Cup Final against the Netherlands. What perfect timing for this column!
I am not a soccer player, but I did play in 3rd grade for a bit, if that counts. I am, however, a huge fan. American icon Abby Wambach grew up in my area, and is a hometown hero, so soccer has always been on my radar. I do love to watch soccer though, even if I am not a “sports brain,” and this women’s team is no exception. Watching the USWNT power through the World Cup, and their infectious joy, enthusiasm and passion for the game and each other has truly been a joy to watch unfold. That’s why I want to talk about soccer player Rose Lavelle in this week’s Incredible Girls column.
Rose is a little less than a year younger than I am (11 months and 6 days, actually..) and I am always in awe whenever I see my peers or girls who are younger than me do something badass. Mad respect. Rose currently plays for the Washington Spirit in the National Women’s Soccer League, and is on the United States National Team. She and her three siblings were born and raised in Cincinnati, Ohio. She played competitive soccer while growing up, played while at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, and became a part of the USWNT in 2015.
Like most of America, I was on pins and needles while watching the World Cup Final last week. I wanted my team to win so badly, but most of all because the entire team has completely captured my heart, and I don’t think I am alone in saying that. Their camaraderie, complete confidence and joy in the game is just a pleasure to watch.
One of the stories surrounding the USWNT that made me laugh, relate to and become inspired by is this: in 2003, then-8-year-old Rose dressed up as trailblazer and soccer icon, Mia Hamm for a book report. Who would have predicted that 16 years later, that little girl would be so instrumental in securing the American team’s victory on the world stage? It’s just….it leaves me speechless with joy and happiness and all of the feelings.
Thinking about that moment, and then watching Rose score the second goal in the World Cup Final game against the Netherlands is simply a very cool and historic moment. I can’t imagine what was going through her mind at that time, but the joy from herself and her teammates and the photos from the field say it all. This Sports Illustrated piece has a section on Rose that I found pretty compelling, and pretty great.
More will come from me about the sheer joy of seeing these badass women take the field and speak out on equal pay, politics and issues that they believe in — but first I need to collect myself, attempt to stop fangirling and watch footage from Wednesday’s ticker tape parade (I was GUTTED to not be able to attend) a few more times. Until next week!
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