By Melissa Turtinen
In our swimsuits, we crowded around a small television at a teammate’s house as we watched the United State’s Women’s National Team make history. The TV was strategically placed so the sun wouldn’t cause a glare and so we could see every play. We’d jump in the pool to stay cool and listen for updates from our teammates as we ran from the pool’s edge to the picnic table where TV sat.
It was July 10, 1999 and the final game of the Women’s World Cup was going into extra time against China. The score was 0-0. The entire 12 and Under Classic 1 soccer team I played on gathered around the TV. No goals – the game was headed for penalties. On the fifth kick, Brandi Chastain scored the game-winning goal for the US and proceeded to rip off her shirt – we instantly idolized her as we prepared for our own version of the World Cup just a few days later.