Rose Lavelle’s jaw dropped a little, then she smiled.
She was asked about being a role model.
It’s a question she’s had to answer multiple times – including with local media in Cincinnati. But this time was different.
Previous questions were always asked before the 2019 FIFA Woman’s World Cup. So, in a sense, they alluded to what it’d be like to play for the U.S. Women’s National Team on the planet’s biggest stage.
She now knows.
When she was asked most recently, the question came after Lavelle scored two goals in her first World Cup match, when the U.S. battered Thailand 13-0 in the biggest scoring margin for any match in the tournament’s history – either women or men.
“We kind of are here on a mission, so in one sense we can’t distract ourselves with that stuff,” Lavelle responded to the role-model question. “But at the same time, it’s really cool to see how it’s come full circle.
“I’ve always had players to look up to growing up. Now, to be somebody someone can look up to, is really cool.”
The Cincinnati native and the USWNT play their second group-stage match Sunday against Chile. Kickoff is set for noon ET, and a win would seal a spot in the knockout stages for the reigning World Cup champions.
As for Lavelle, she’s looking to build on her 57-minute performance against Thailand. She scored the country’s second goal in the 20th minute and then the seventh in the 56th.
“I was excited to get the first goal, but I got two great passes, so they made it easy for me,” she said modestly about her brace.
The midfielder was one of four Americans making their World Cup debut. As for the USWNT’s next opponent, Chile’s debut match in the tournament was a 2-0 loss to Sweden. The U.S. played Chile twice last September and won the matches 3-0 and 4-0 in friendlies.
“We’re only one game in so I feel like it’s a little early to say, but it was an exciting start to the tournament and we’re excited to keep building on it,” Lavelle said.