The World According to Weimer: A Win, and a New Beginning

Kansas City, MO - Sunday April 16, 2017: Christen Westphal, Rose Lavelle, Angela Salem during a regular season National Women's Soccer League (NWSL) match between FC Kansas City and the Boston Breakers at Childrenís Mercy Victory Field.

This is the fourth article for Empire of Soccer by the NWSL and Boston Breakers player Tiffany Weimer. The Connecticut native and former star at Penn State who has played professionally in the U.S., Canada and abroad offers an inside look at the care and feeding of a soccer player. She writes about last week’s win against Sky Blue.

By TIFFANY WEIMER

imgres-1With the National Women’s Soccer League season underway, there are a lot of things to reflect on. Aside from quality games, good team performances and individual bits of brilliance … there have been some cool things that maybe the fans don’t always get to see.

The Boston Breakers undoubtedly had a trying season in 2016. With only three wins and a last-place finish, there had to be changes. And that’s exactly what Coach Matt Beard and the staff did.

There are players within the group now who were part of that 2016 team. Players like Christen Westphal, Brooke Elby, Julie King, Angela Salem, Kylie Strom, Natasha Dowie, Abby Smith and Libby Stout. No matter how happy we newcomers (everyone else on the roster) felt about our 1-0 win over Sky Blue last Sunday, we couldn’t fully understand what the people who were here last year felt.

I asked King, our captain, to describe the win in a way that she might not have been able to right after the game speaking to the news media.

“After the whistle blew this overwhelming emotion hit me. It happened immediately and with complete surprise, that at first, I couldn’t really make sense of it,” she said. “Of course, I’m always ecstatic about winning, but this one was different and this emotion definitely could not be solely defined as happiness. It was as if a weight, that I didn’t even really recognize I was bearing, had been lifted off my shoulders. I’m so excited about this team, and I’m so happy that everyone here believed in what we could accomplish together and decided to come to Boston.”

You could see it in everyone’s eyes. It was this feeling of all our work from preseason coming together and then something extra that lingered from the players who had endured a rough season in 2016.

It was a special day.

We went back to training on Tuesday and what was cool was that you wouldn’t know we had just won a game. Players and staff went back to work as if nothing good happened over the weekend. That’s the time right there when progress occurs.

It’s this attitude like: “You did something well? Great. Well, you have to do it again every single weekend.” And that is the test that awaits us now. We have our next home game against the Seattle Reign on Saturday.

Coach Beard is good at having a plan for us. He’s also good at emphasizing that no matter how good a plan is, we have to be able to improvise. As players, we need to be able to figure out things on our own and be confident enough to know that we can. We are professionals after all.

So, from here we move forward. The season is long. If each player seeks individual improvement every single day, then as a team, progress is always possible. One of the most exciting aspects of being involved in a team at this level is the idea that we can always be more. We can push our limits and push each other’s limits, while our coaches are pushing us too. The idea that people want each other to be better is an incredible environment to be in.

Never satisfied. Always grateful. I feel lucky to be where I am.

Myth or Reality?

Allysha Chapman does a duck squeal during 5v2

• Coach Matt Beard and his assistant Paul McHugh run the Harvard Stadium steps

Julie King cried after we won

Matt Damon works out in the Harvard gym. He told all of us that we look lovely in blue.

Lee Billard was defeated by The Drone (a movie to come?)

Rose Lavelle had PPD (post-pet depression) after Wilma left

Advice of the Day Don’t leave the jackfruit in the garbage overnight.

Teammate of the Week This one is funny because I could pick her every single week. but that’s not fair to everyone else. I’m sure I’ll mention her a lot.

Angela Salem. One of my friends who watched the game texted me and said, “Your roommate is really important.” I said “DUH.” She is the backbone to any team she’s ever been on. She doesn’t do all the flashy things that get a ton of attention, but she does all the little things right. Coaches/parents, if you want your youngsters to be a holding mid, have them watch her throughout a 90-minute game. Clinical.