We touched base with UI women's soccer coach Janet Rayfield a final time before she left Lyon, France, asking her to describe the scene after the U.S. beat the Netherlands for another World Cup championship.
“It was a drawn-out release of emotions from the fans and the athletes,” she said, “from the initial rush of players onto the field to the Dutch fans in the section behind the goal waving flags in unison and solidarity to the fans chanting ‘Pay them more’ as the FIFA president took the stage for the awards presentation ...
“ ... to watching each U.S. player celebrate in their own unique way: Julie Ertz using the trophy as an air guitar; Megan Rapinoe posing with her THREE trophies in her true confident style; Alyssa Naeher alone on one knee amongst the confetti, relishing in the moment; Jessica McDonald making confetti angels with her son; Sam Mewis’ tears (because that’s what she does); to the young ones — Rose (Lavelle), Mallory (Pugh) and (Emily) Sonnet — just buzzing around trying to do it all.”
How’d she celebrate?
“Like all fans: with friends toasting to the players we were inspired by, the athletes we admire and sending thanks for giving us this incredible memory.”
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