Your Curated Guide to Women's Sports

Mondays: Soccer
By: Annie Peterson, AP Women's Soccer
Twitter: @AnnieMPeterson

Wednesdays: Basketball
By: Howard Megdal, High Post Hoops
Twitter: @HowardMegdal

Fridays: Hockey
By: Erica Ayala, NWHL Broadcaster
Twitter: @ELindsay08
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When soccer stars speak up—Tierna Davidson interview—must-click woso links

Hey all, apologies for the late Soccer IX! I had some breaking news for The AP yesterday. Today, I probably won't go into huge detail here because I'm headed down to Eugene to watch No. 4 Mississippi State play No. 7 Oregon.

(Aside, perhaps I should have traded places with Howard Megdal and taken over the Basketball IX this week. In fact, that may be an idea! Change things up a bit!)

So before I got hit yesterday by a bunch of news, I woke up to Ada Hegerberg's piece for the Players' Tribune. If you haven't seen it, it's here. The scene at the restaurant after the ceremony is just really wonderful.

I gotta say I love the Players' Tribune because it is a great forum for athletes to reveal what's really going on behind the scenes. I was reminded of the U.S. national team's Players' Tribune post called "Equal Footing" during the Victory Tour following the 2015 World Cup. It is here if you'd like to re-read it.

The thing that strikes me about this post, years later, was how it was really one of the first post-World Cup salvos made by the team collectively and publicly aimed at pushing back at U.S. Soccer. At the time, it seemed (at least to me) as a really bold step by the team. Kind of the team's `mad as hell and not gonna take it anymore' moment. This line particularly stood out: 

"At the end of the day, we expect to be treated equally as our male counterparts. And we hope that, in the future, our fields and our venues will be chosen and inspected at the standard of an international match — whether it’s men or women playing on the field."

The EEOC filing would come later. The collective bargaining agreement would follow. Small steps were taken and made in the wake of that post.

Hegerberg's post asserting that she'll not let her moment be defined by others is also a step along those same lines. As she said, it's about respect. 

Here's to hoping the right people are listening. 

This Week in Women's Soccer

My colleague Rob Harris, AP's Global Soccer Writer, on Mary Harvey's new role.   

I had a story on Tierna Davidson, post Young Player of the Year and pre-World Cup push. 

Several great things from The Athletics Soccer site: Caitlin Murray on the USWNT group-stage meeting with Sweden
Stephanie Yang talked to Nadine Angerer and Nicole Barnhart for a really cool story on goalkeeping. And finally, the Athletic talked to Kate Abdo

Please, please, please read Grant Wahl's story on the Reyna family if you haven't. It's just so amazingly good. 

New Dash coach James Clarkson is talking with Sophia Huerta, from the good folks at The Equalizer.

Also for the Equalizer, I thought Lauren Peace's commentary on showcasing inequity at the World Cup was well done. 

This story today provides more detail on what's going on with the Afghan women's team. 

The pressure is on for France. Yes, I'd say. 

ICYMI: Here are the finalists for the Mac Hermann Trophy, which will be awarded Jan. 4. 

Tweet of the week!


Five at The IX:

Thought you'd like some excerpts from my interview with Tierna Davidson. While there are persistent rumors she may go pro, she says she hasn't decided. Still thinking about making taking time off. I mean, it's Stanford.  

ANNIE: First, how are you feeling, how is your recovery going?
TIERNA: Oh my gosh, it's going well. We have so many great doctors and trainers here at Stanford. I couldn't ask for a better place to recover. 

ANNIE: Congrats on winning Young Player of the Year. Why do you think you've been able to mesh with the team so quickly?
TIERNA: "I feel like the coaching staff for the U.S. and the players were just really welcoming. I think that a big part of fitting into a team is, do you feel like you belong? And do other people feel like you belong? And that's something I did feel. I felt like players were trying to get to know me and people had confidence in me and that they were really invested in my success as well as their own.That helped bring me into the team, because I did hit the ground running pretty fast. I was really just so appreciative of everyone's warm feelings, and that obviously made it easier for me to perform well."
ANNIE: What is the biggest difference between playing for Stanford and playing for the national team. What is the hardest thing about playing on the national team level?
TIERNA: "I would say one of the hardest things obviously is the speed of play. It is faster than college. You get less time on the ball, less time to make decisions and less space to operate in. And then also, in my position specifically, there's a lot of communication that has to come from me, in terms of directing the individuals in front of me and whatnot. Especially just being able to have that confidence, as someone who is minor to other people on the field, just to be able tell people were they need to be or give them relevant information. That's something that's difficult difficult and something I'm still learning how to do." 

ANNIE: Are you confident in making the World Cup roster?
TIERNA: Man, it's definitely going to hinge on how quickly I can get back into the swing of things in January and beyond. But through 2018 I felt like I performed nearly as well as I could. I felt like I was an important part of the team and I felt like people were kind of getting more comfortable with me in the mix. I know it's going to be a spot in high contention, there's a competition for it, but I'm going to work my hardest to do my best to score a spot."

ANNIE: What are you're plans? Ar you going to take time off school?
TIERNA: "That's something that's been discussed in my household and with other people _ is what's going to happen over the next couple of months. Because if I get invited into camps, those are like 2 1/2 weeks at a time, every month. Especially with Stanford's academics, that's not super realistic for me to do. Whether it looks like me taking a quarter off to focus on soccer, or whether it be finding classes that allow me to miss significant time. In the pool of decisions is whether to go pro and what that would look like. No decisions have been made. I'm trying to get through my last week of finals before I figure out what the rest looks like."
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