I remember the moment I fell in love with the beautiful game. Argentina v England during the 1986 World Cup with two of the most famous goals in World Cup history, the ‘Hand of God’ goal and the ‘Goal of the Century’ and if you don’t know what I’m talking about you should do a quick Google search, I’ll wait...
Welcome back! So where was I...okay. Since that moment, I had a passion for soccer, so I wanted to play for my high school team even though I’m not the most gifted athlete. There were two ways to get on the team, you could enroll in the soccer class offered ensuring your spot or you could get selected from the open tryout.
In my junior year, I had prepared for the tryout to sharpen my skills for several months. I was confident I could earn a spot. What I lacked in physical prowess, I made up in effort and heart. The day of the tryout, I felt like a man possessed, charging and giving it my all. I knew my best chance to make the team was with my defense abilities. Afterwards, I was sure I was going to make the team. When the results were being announced, the head coach called me over to speak with me. He told me that he loved my heart, effort and love of the game. He also said the girls’ team needed a manager.
It took a minute for his words to sink in. Not only was I not making the team, but he wanted me to fill a role with the women’s side. I was introduced to women’s soccer in 1991. I helped the women’s head coach with everything, from equipment manager and running drills, to acting as the opponent goalkeeper during practices, and sometimes a linesman during a match if we didn’t have three referees show up for the women’s match. I witnessed back then the inequality between the men’s side compared to the women which has stuck with me since then.
I didn’t have the soccer career in high school I envisioned, but I wouldn’t change a thing about my junior and senior years because the time spent on the pitch grew my passion for the women’s game. So after all that, here I am. Let’s Score!