Abby's impact on local soccer
Posted at: 08/20/2012 5:01 PM
| Updated at: 08/20/2012 6:52 PM
By: Robin De Wind | WHEC.com
Abby Wambach’s visit back home for the U.S. Women’s Soccer Exhibition at Sahlen’s Stadium is creating a lot of excitement locally. Abby has become a role model for young athletes in Rochester and across the country.
It’s been 14 years since Abby Wambach last put on a jersey for the Our Lady of Mercy Monarchs, but she has never forgotten her team and in return, she has made a lasting impression on the next generation of soccer players.
Donna Trost, Mercy Varsity Soccer Coach, said, “The girls have waited a long time to play on a field that is world class.”
Our Lady of Mercy has a lot to be proud of this fall season. Their new turf field and track is finished. The defending Class A soccer champs can also take pride in their most famous alum.
Alana Olivieri, senior goalie, said, “It’s great to know she walked through our halls, sat in our chair, and wore our uniforms. She had such a great work ethic. She was a hard worker. She was so sportsman-like. It’s just great to know we are supposed to carry on the tradition she brought to us.”
Trost said, “My biggest memory of her is that she is like any ordinary kid and senior just being goofy with her friends.”
Varsity coach Donna Trost remembers Abby Wambach playing at Mercy when it was a grass field and Abby’s potential as a world class athlete was still years away. Trost was the modified coach back then. She says 14 years later, Abby is inspiring the next generation.
Trost said, “She's trying to present herself as you don't have to be the best soccer player but whatever you choose to do you do it with 100-percent class and dignity and you see it when she's playing.”
Last fall when she was in town, Abby made time to visit Mercy for a school assembly. But she also addressed the girls’ soccer teams, admitting even that besides a world cup title, winning states has also eluded her.
Jamie Urlaub, senior midfielder, said, “It is crazy she was probably wearing the same jersey. When she came out to school she talked about all her practices that was us or is us.”
Olivieri said, “I hope to be just as hard working and sportsman like she is every time I step on the field.”
Julia Degatti, senior forward, “She didn't only talk to the student body but she came to the soccer program and talked to us specifically and the game and things to work on and she never won states but you can accomplish that.”
The Mercy soccer teams have followed Abby’s success throughout the Olympics. Unfortunately, they open their season on the road in a tournament that prevents them from seeing Abby play September 1 at Sahlen’s Stadium as part of the U.S. Women’s National Team exhibition with Costa Rica.