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. =)