“Oh the Places You”ll Go” – Growing up I never understood why this is one of my moms favorite Dr. Seuss books. After traveling the past 4 years pursuing a dream, I’m now grasping a better understanding. Life is a big adventure and it’s all what you make of it.
Being a professional women’s soccer player was something I aspired to be at a young age. I continued to grow more passionate for the game even as I got older. The game was my release. My release from stress at school, from stress at home, from getting into trouble, the list goes on and on. Soccer always found a way to put a smile on my face and bring happiness to my heart. I knew it had to be a part of my life some how some way.
After graduating from the University of Miami in 2009 I was drafted to Washington DC. I was thrilled for an opportunity to chase my dreams straight out of college. The transition in speed of play from college to the pros was difficult and I
found myself struggling the first few weeks of my rookie season. After a few games of not starting or being rostered. I found myself heart broken, but knew I had to find a positive outlook.
Here I was playing with some of the games greatest players and I had an opportunity to learn from them daily. That was going to be my new objective. Focus on learning as much as I possibly could in one season. Whether I stepped on the field or not was a coaching decision, what I gained from the experience was all up to me. Life works in funny ways, no matter what we are dealt, we can effect the outcome. There’s always positive in every situation, you must take the time out to find it.
Entering my second year in the league I felt much more confident. I was ready to continue learning and hoped I would have a bigger impact being my second season in the League. I signed with WNY Flash in 2012, and was set for a new adventure in Buffalo, NY. I again found myself in a similar situation, surrounded by talented players and not getting much playing time. I continued to remind myself it’s all what you make it. How you view it, is how it will be. I was
learning everyday from those around me and I had a role on the team. I had the choice of how big my role was going to be and how quickly I would develop.
Every player on a squad has a role! Just because you’re not rostered or don’t travel or don’t come in off the bench doesn’t mean you don’t have a role. The bottom of the pack has the biggest role and must continually work hard to push those in front of them. It’s one tough job to push from the bottom up, while staying positive. Challenging each other everyday and forcing other teammates to bring their best is my true definition of a team player.
After the WPS folded in 2012, I couldn’t believe my adventure of just two shorts years was possibly ending. I was thankful for the opportunity to play with such amazing athletes and having won a WPS championship. I was heartbroken at the thought of it being the end and was worried where my next step would be.
The same year the league folded, I travelled with Sky Blue FC to Japan to play against INAC Kobe Leonessa. I was so excited to explore Japan, and witness a style of soccer from a different league. After competing against INAC in two matches, I was jaw dropped impressed with the style of soccer. I remember thinking, I had no idea women could possess so fashionably. It was history from there. I have now been here with INAC for two seasons and nothing can replace my experiences learning the Japanese style of soccer and adapting to a new culture.
The players here are extremely technical and it was a hard transition for me at first. While working on this transition, I was also asked to step into the center forward position after our starting forward tore her ACL. This position at the time was very unfamiliar to me. Again trying to keep an open mind, I gave it my best shot. I’m still learning my strengths in the position, but am so thankful to improve my technical ability and enjoy the game from a different position.
I have now been a part of two Nadeshiko League championships and I’m playing with some of the best players in the world. In fact I’m even taking Japanese classes to be able to communicate with my teammates. I’m giving this once in a lifetime experience everything I have, hoping to walk away with even more appreciation for the beautiful game.
“There is a purpose for everything that has ever happened to you, and everything that will happen to you”
Being able to travel the world and share my love of the game with others is something I’m extremely passionate about. I’m thankful everyday for my experiences and I am hopeful the journey will continue in a positive direction.
Everyone’s journey is different, enjoy the ride and always be ready to learn from your experiences and those around you!
You can continue to follow my journey through blog entries here on Women’s Soccer United as well as on my Twitter and Facebook page.
“There is a purpose for everything that ever has happened to you, and everything that will happen to you” (The Monk Who Sold His Ferrari)
Picture sent to me by a fan
“The purpose of life, is living a life of purpose” I am very passionate about my sport and I am so thankful to have the opportunity to do what I love. I enjoy inspiring others through my experiences to shoot for the stars, in whatever their passions in life may be. Whether you want to be a sports player, writer, manager, or a bank teller give it your best and follow your heart. You will find happiness in anything you do!
Inac Kobe Nadeshiko League 2013,
Inac Kobe Nadeshiko League Cup Champions 2013
Inac Kobe Nadeshiko League 2012
Inac Kobe Nadeshiko League Champions 2012
Mobcast Cup Finalists (Lyon vs Inac) 2012
34th Empress Cup Champions 2012
Western New York Flash WPS Regular Title 2011 & Championship Winners 2011
Washington Freedom DC 2010