I’m 23 years of age, and was born in Portland, Maine. I come from a family of athletes; Mum was a point guard in basketball and Dad was a goalkeeper.
Growing up, I was a three-sport athlete – playing basketball, soccer and running track. I picked soccer as an outlet as I fell deeply in love with it. The sport has allowed me to travel all over the United States and now overseas. I am fond of the sport as everything it offered appealed to me. I love being outside where all of my five senses are engaged.
I have two younger siblings, now 22 and 20. We’re a very tight-knit family. Mum and Dad have been divorced since I was 10 years old. All things considered we are very fortunate.
The first time I left the country to pursue sports was during Covid. There was a hold on all competitions in the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA), and I wanted to step away from college for a bit. My coach said to me ‘Why don’t you consider playing in Spain?’
I jumped on the plane.
I ended up just outside of the city of Malaga, on the coast of the Mediterranean, playing for FC Malaga City. I started their season with them for November/December. I went back to Delaware in the US and did my spring season. After that, I returned to Spain to play for the remainder of their season from May-July.
The majority of the team was not from Spain. We had a girl from each of these respective countries – Guatemala, England and Ireland. There were a handful from the US, and some locals, but most were from abroad. We lived in a 14-person villa, and it overlooked the soccer field. It was absolute insanity, and was hands down the best team culture I’ve ever experienced. It was very unique and a surreal experience.
When the season ended, many went on to other leagues to continue playing, including Greece, Turkey, Mexico and Japan. Some went back to school to continue playing and finish their degree.
The Australian women’s a-league is more comparable to NWSL/Division 1 athletics. It’s the most professional environment I’ve been in, and it’s fuller on in terms of everyday obligations and responsibilities. We have gym, treatment, trainings and meetings. We have an app on our phones that basically lays out what every day looks like, two months in advance.
At the end of the day, it’s work.
Dad and I have a unique relationship, and I’m blessed to have him. I appreciate all the time we’ve shared and memories we’ve created. Growing up, he provided the financial support for me to play and compete- allowing me to pursue my dreams. Once I got to college, it was a matter of performing. In a way, a lot of the money Dad had spent on me growing up and playing club had came back as I was on a scholarship at the Division One level, which paid for a majority of my degree/education at Delaware.
I am blessed to have the relationship I now have with my mum. She is my best friend. It wasn’t always this way. We are very similar most would say and I think this is perhaps why we butted heads so often growing up. She is my inspiration and idol.
I knew I wanted to continue playing post college and it was a matter of time… finding an agent was one of the first steps in this process. Eventually things just fell into place slowly.
Mum and Dad introduced the game to me when I was about five. Mum was my basketball coach for four years in high school. It was pretty cool to have your mum as a coach. Her passion for basketball has had an impact on me wanting to share my passion for soccer to young female athletes.
Growing up I wished I had someone to look up to and aspire to be like in the soccer world. Mum played that role. I never had someone outside of her who fit that role, but now I hope to be that for young female athletes & ultimately help them pursue their dreams by sharing my experiences and coaching the game.
Before I came to Melbourne, I was in Brisbane playing with Peninsula Power. They’re in the National Premier Leagues (NPL) Queensland, which is the league just below the A-League. I was also coaching their Under-13 girls Academy team. This was an essential steppingstone in my journey to make it to the a-league. . The NPL season goes from February to September, and the A-League runs from October to April.
When my college career ended last year, I was sitting on a couple of different offers. One was in Iceland and another in Portugal. Both were better offers than Australia and that I was highly considering.
However, when the Australian offer presented itself I couldn’t say no. I chose Australia as I haven’t been to this continent. Additionally, the Women’s World Cup was happening – a huge deciding factor.
The Women’s World Cup definitely has had a profound effect on the game.
I shared this with my Dad recently. By nature, I like to plan and have things lined up. Ever since Covid hit I have had to surrender to the unknown, especially with the path of professional soccer. Although you have a lot of control over how things play out in your life, there’s a level of surrender you have to embrace.
It’s very strange not knowing where I will be in six months.
My first week is Brisbane, I needed to get an Australian phone number, bank account, and figure out my commute to training. I didn’t have a car.
Within a week of coming to Australia I was on the hunt for housing… The club offered me a chance to share with a family, but it was quite far from the city. I literally Googled ‘Flat mates Australia’, and flatmatefinders.com.au came up. I signed up for it, and I found my roommate over a 10min Zoom call.
My roommate Noura and her partner Scotty were a blessing. They got me into local Facebook pages within the community, which is how I earned extra money. I consider Nora and Scotty family. Scotty had a scooter and it became my main source of transportation. I’ve since acclimated to the weather and I reckon my Dad would call me weak for wearing a puffer jacket in the Australian winter having grown up in Maine back in the states.
On a typical day I wake up at 6am, and head to work (playing for MVFC). I am preoccupied until 1pm and have the whole afternoon and evening to myself. A handful of girls do nothing, and we relax for the rest of the day. A few girls who are still studying would go back to classes, and some have part time jobs. I like naps and coaching in my free time.
Coaching happens a few times a week, and I also found dog-walking to be a good way to make money. I was walking heaps of dogs in QLD and I was on my feet a lot. I’d charge $20 for a 30-minute walk. I started with one dog, started getting savvy with it and started walking two or three dogs at a time.
The three craziest opportunities I’ve had were the most rewarding ones. One summer, I played for a team in South Carolina… it was in between my college years, I didn’t go home. While all my friends went home, I went to play in a different state. I had an amazing summer and came back to my collegiate season with more confidence than before. I was also the fittest I’d ever been. I’d walk into my most confident and fruitful season at the University of Delaware.
I’ve got 17 tattoos. One of them says ‘Fortune favours the bold’, and it’s on my leg. My tattoos have stories and I typically get a tattoo everywhere I go for soccer. I got one recently in QLD, which says ‘Audax at Fidelis’. This is the QLD state motto, which means ‘Bold but Faithful’.
I had a bit of an unorthodox entry into the A-League team. I was a late signing, so I actually got put up with a coach for a couple of weeks. The club threw me into the team house in Footscray, where I live with six of my teammates. That’s why I’m here!
From the local Facebook groups, I’ve had some unique conversations and interactions with people in the Footscray community. It’s nice to feel welcome in a new place. I’ll be lying if I say I’ve explored a lot of Footscray. I’ve been to a couple of soccer fields, visited Kensington, and went to a club function for women’s players to show my face. It was cool to get out and meet new people.
To my friends and family back home, I won’t be making snow angels for Christmas this year. I won’t be sitting around the fire inside with hot chocolate, as there’s no snow at Christmas here in Australia!