CINCINNATI, Ohio (WLWT) – Carrying the World Cup trophy she helped win, Rose Lavelle embraced her hometown fans in much the same way they embraced her at a gathering in Cincinnati Friday.
She hit the stage clutching the World Cup trophy, later saying she had no idea how that was arranged.
But, to her hometown fans, as cool as that golden prize is, it was Rose they came to see and cheer and in her heartfelt, unassuming way, she did not disappoint.
“I think Cincinnati has the best kind of people. I think there’s so much pride and love here and like I said before, every time I put on the U.S. jersey, I have so much pride playing for the country. But, I feel so grateful to be able to represent you guys and to represent this city. It’s unreal,” she said.
She looked out onto a square full of folks who hung on every pass and breakaway in the cup, especially every one that involved her.
Her pre-calculus teacher at Mount Notre Dame, Paula Schute, remembers how driven and disciplined she was as a young teen.
“She was very efficient. Like, she would come into class and be like, what do we need to do? And I’m going to get it done,” she said.
She got it done against the Netherlands and recalled how she was once that eight, nine and ten-year-old in a crowd looking up to a champion role model on the local soccer field.
“I know how huge it was for me to have Heather Mitts from here and make it to that stage, and go to the Olympics, the World Cup and all that. And I hope that I can kind of serve as that same role model for girls in this area and boys in this area, too,” said Lavelle.
Mayor John Cranley gave her the key to the city, and with her parents, brother, sister and grandmother looking on, FCC’s Jeff Berding handed her a Skyline Chili shirt and gift card.
After all of the speeches, Lavelle stuck around to meet fans and sign autographs.