The student-run newspaper of Westridge School for Girls, Spyglass strives to build community and evoke empathy through the medium of journalism. Comprised of passionate student writers, editors, designers, managers, and leaders, Spyglass is dedicated to ethical reporting that amplifies our unique voices to inform, entertain, and forge connection in the Westridge community and beyond.

Spyglass

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The student-run newspaper of Westridge School for Girls, Spyglass strives to build community and evoke empathy through the medium of journalism. Comprised of passionate student writers, editors, designers, managers, and leaders, Spyglass is dedicated to ethical reporting that amplifies our unique voices to inform, entertain, and forge connection in the Westridge community and beyond.

Spyglass

The student-run newspaper of Westridge School for Girls, Spyglass strives to build community and evoke empathy through the medium of journalism. Comprised of passionate student writers, editors, designers, managers, and leaders, Spyglass is dedicated to ethical reporting that amplifies our unique voices to inform, entertain, and forge connection in the Westridge community and beyond.

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Girls Just Wanna Play Sports: Reflecting on the Careers of Women’s Soccer Players

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Abby H.
“Girls Just Want to Play Sports” is a column highlight women athletes. This edition is about the tremendous growth of women’s basketball.

This August, women’s soccer teams from around the world competed in New Zealand and Australia for the coveted FIFA Women’s World Cup. The United States Women’s National Team (USWNT) has been a favorite in the tournament for decades, winning the last two tournaments in 2015 and 2019. But this year, in the round of 16, Sweden knocked out the United States in penalty kicks, sending the American team home with their worst result in World Cup history. This World Cup exit marks the beginning of a new generation of women’s soccer, a new USWNT; and with that, comes saying goodbye to legends. 

Women’s soccer fans around the world are bidding farewell to three American stars of the game: Megan Rapinoe, Julie Ertz, and Ali Krieger. All three of these women played crucial roles in the United States’ two most recent World Cup championships and will be greatly missed, but their legacies will carry on in women’s soccer for decades. 

Megan Rapinoe: Megan Rapinoe is a household name in America for two reasons. First, she is one of the most accomplished women’s soccer players of all time, boasting two World Cup championships, an Olympic gold and bronze medal, the 2019 Golden Boot, and female Ballon d’Or, an award presented to the player deemed to have the best season. Rapinoe first debuted for the national team in 2006, and in her 17 years competing for the team, she has made 203 appearances, with 63 goals scored and 73 assists. In her prime, she was undoubtedly one of the greatest players in the world.

Rapinoe is also known for her activism, specifically showing her support for equal pay, racial justice, and LGBTQ+ rights. As a lesbian, Rapinoe has been vocal about her identity and has worked with several LGBTQ+ organizations, including Athlete Ally, an organization that aims to make athletic communities more inclusive. In addition, in 2016, Rapinoe kneeled during the playing of the national anthem to show solidarity with Colin Kaepernick. While she received intense criticism for her decision not to stand, she continued to advocate for racial justice in America by using her platform to speak out and support people of color. Rapinoe’s activism most notably includes fighting for years for equal pay, starting with a 2019 lawsuit with her fellow teammates. Rapinoe and the USWNT finally reached an equal pay agreement in 2022.

Julie Ertz and Ali Krieger were also strong advocates for equal pay alongside Rapinoe. While Rapinoe often garnered the most attention from her prolific scoring to controversial political opinions, Krieger and Ertz held the house down, playing crucial roles in the team’s defense over the years. 

Ali Krieger: Ali Krieger made her debut for the USWNT in 2008 and in over a decade on the team, she made 108 appearances, scoring a solemn one goal. Despite being a defender, one of Krieger’s defining career moments was in 2011, when she scored the game winning penalty kick to advance the U.S. to the semi-finals of the World Cup. Krieger was most known for her strong defensive playstyle and perseverance. In 2018, Krieger went 18 months without being called up to play for the women’s national team. Her absence from the USWNT in those months was difficult for her as she opened up in her article for The Players’ Tribune, “I’m Good Right Now.” While her hiatus from the team was heartbreaking for her, she took some time for herself and continued to improve her game. Eventually, in 2019, she was named to the World Cup roster and won her second world championship with the team. Now, as she retires, she finishes her season in the National Women’s Soccer League as one of the best defenders in the league.

Julie Ertz: Julie Ertz has played both midfield and defense and is known for her versatility on the field. Alongside Krieger and Rapinoe, she has won two women’s World Cups and she has an impressive list of individual awards, including being two-time U.S. Soccer Player of the Year in 2017 and 2019. Ertz is the youngest of these three retiring women and has played for the USWNT for the least amount of time. However, she is still considered to be one of the most impactful players in the past decade. She began her USWNT career in 2013 and has since competed for the team 123 times, scoring 20 goals and having six assists. One of the most impressive feats of her career was having a child in April 2022 and still coming back to compete in the World Cup a year later. There is no denying Ertz’ pure soccer talent, as she found success as both a midfielder and center back, and her steadying presence will be greatly missed by future USWNT. 

On August 31, 2023, Julie Ertz announced her retirement from professional soccer. She played her last professional soccer game in an international friendly against South Africa on September 21.

On Saturday, November 11, Ali Krieger and Megan Rapinoe ended their soccer careers together, in the NWSL final, leaving Krieger’s team victorious. Even though these three women are hanging up their cleats, their legacies as United States women’s soccer legends and fighters for equal pay will live on in the next generations of women’s soccer players whom they have inspired.

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About the Contributors
Ella B., Editor, Social Media Manager
Ella is in her fifth year writing for Spyglass, her second year as an editor, and her third year managing Spyglass’ social media. When she is not writing articles, you can find her swimming, watching hockey and tennis, or working on graphic design and web development.
Abby H., Design Team
Abby is a junior Spyglass Design artist. They joined the team two years ago and wishes to continue her efforts in adding art and illustrations to the Spyglass website.
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