Fond Farewells

 

Lianne Sanderson and me waving to the crowd at the WPS Super-Semi @ PPL Park

The day after.  The Cheesesteaks are on the bus ride back to Philadelphia and we have picked up our good friend Hurricane Irene along the way.  At this point, we are intrepid travelers so nothing will stop us from reaching our home town.  This day after bus ride, complete with WI-FI, has provided ample time for reflection.  

It has been six months since the team arrived on March 1st and so much has since transpired.  Wins, losses, a World Cup, bumps, bruises, laughter, and tears all the way through our Championship run.  Yes, Western New York beat us when it mattered most, but at the end of the day, we do not feel like losers. 

After the final PK was saved, the medals were handed out, and we wiped away our tears, I slowly walked over to our Cheesesteak Supporter Group that traveled so far to cheer us on.  A group of people from all walks of life that have come together for a common cause: to help the Independence succeed.  They are men, women, old, young, all races, and all religions.  They are our 12th man.  When I finally reached them with Petey the Penguin in my arms I could see the tears in their eyes portraying the agony in defeat.  We came so close, so painfully close, that is hurts so much more to lose it in that fashion. 

The Cheesesteaks (fans included) have traveled all over the East Coast trying to prove that Women’s Soccer deserves a professional league.  We have played our hearts out to try to win yours.  The support has been overwhelming and our new mascot, Petey, is perfect proof….337 followers on twitter for a stuffed animal.  Way to go Petey.

This weekend I felt like a legitimate celebrity and the 10,000 fans in the stands provided an amazing atmosphere for the final game of the 2011 WPS Season.  The league pulled out all the stops and although our medals are a depressing silver, we were treated like gold from all of those that participated in this great event. 

There is nothing that can take away the coldness in losing but hugging every one of our fans that came to Rochester warmed my heart.  No we don’t make much money with which we buy big houses and nice cars, but it is the opportunity to do what you love in front of people who love you, that makes this all worth it.  My paycheck will not break banks but money can’t buy the experiences, the emotions, and the memories we create.

It is all over.  Lianne and I are on to a new adventure in Spain.  We love the game too much to let it go.  Our new team is Espanyol and we will proudly wear the blue and white all the while bring with us the City of Brotherly Love.  We are following our dreams and hopefully that will lead us back to the new and improved 2012 WPS where we will again share our passion for the game for all those who want to be a part. 

We all know stability is not a characteristic of the WPS and so you never really know where the road will take you.  With that said, a massive thank you to all that read my blog.  Those of you who are women soccer fans, never stop supporting, never stop loving the game and sharing that passion with everyone you come in contact with.  The WPS is nothing without you.

Most importantly, come with us to Spain.  I will be continuing my blog, posting pictures, tweeting away, and I am always game for new friends and experiences.   Thank you for being a part of my life and please don’t stop now……the fun is just beginning. =)

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About joannalohman

Professional Soccer Player for the Philadelphia Independence and Vice President of Tenant Consulting, LLC, a commercial real estate firm in Washington, DC. I believe that curiosity is the highest form of insubordination so I am always exploring and seeking out ways to learn. I am a multi-dimensional reader, dancer, socializer, leader, and motivator. I have traveled around the world for both soccer and recreation experiencing different cultures by submerging myself in the local community. I am currently living in West Chester, PA in a one bedroom, kick butt apartment. At 28 years old, it is my first time living in my own space and I am thoroughly enjoying every second of it. A mathematics nut, spreadsheets turn me on and I find equations stimulating. Business is my post career destination and I hope to one day change the world....however that may be.
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9 Responses to Fond Farewells

  1. Zinzi says:

    I have to say that your article brought some tears in my eyes. I’ve read all of your blogs and I will keep reading them. I’m from the Netherlands and I followed everything going on in the wps this season. I became a true philly fan and stayed up late to follow the matches on the internet. You play for a great team and I can tell that every single one of you is playing with the heart and passion the game deserves to be played with. Thank you and your team for this wonderfull season! love zinzi

  2. Matthew Henry says:

    It was a great season for Philly and the WPS. Can’t wait for next season to start and am looking forward to seeing you and your team competing back in Rochester next year!

  3. Tom says:

    Safe travels and I’ll be looking forward to your posts from Spain. Look forward to seeing you and Lianne again next year…

  4. sandy says:

    thank you for playing soccer, thank you for writing these awesome blogs and thank you so much for the cleats! you made me & pearcey’s day 😀

    wishing you all the best in spain! is petey going with you guys or is he gonna stay with the cheesesteaks?

  5. Linda Verheyen says:

    Hi..my name is Linda but a lot of my friends call me V. My daughter is Kate and she works for the Independence. You and the entire Philly team are truly and inspiration. I will admit that although I am a huge sports fan, soccer was never at the top of what I enjoyed watching. However, being a mom, that soon changed when Kate began working for the Independence. Of course I would be interested in Kate’s new job, but never would I have imagined how captivated I would become with a team and a group of athletes I knew nothing about. As the season unfolded and my conversations with Kate became more and more exciting about what this team was doing, it was quite apparent that this group of ladies were very special. I attended as many games as I could. I made the drive to Rochester and never for a minute, was I disappointed with the effort, the desire and the passion you and your teammates displayed for the game of soccer. You, Lianne and all the others have converted me into a true soccer fan. This season was amazing! I look forward to next year and I will follow your blog as you and Lianne begin a new chapter in Spain…

  6. par3golfer says:

    Wonderful post! Thank you for sharing your passion for the game and your appreciation for the fans. Have a safe and amazing time in Spain and we will see you next year in Philadelphia!

  7. Pingback: The Philly Soccer Page » Sunny again in Philadelphia

  8. Katie Lynch says:

    Thanks, as always, for sharing your thoughts and reflections. Your “insider” perspective helps WPS fans stay connected to the players and teams. You and the Cheesesteaks had a fantastic run this season, and I hope you’re feeling so very proud. Best of luck in Spain; I’m looking forward to hearing your updates!

  9. clg0519 says:

    It’s been a pleasure to watch your play and to read your blog. Best wishes and godspeed for your next adventure in Barcelona!

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