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"The Soap Boxx" - Final Entry

In the final edition of "The Soap Boxx," U.S. midfielder Shannon Boxx talks about the pain of losing the Germany game, looks forward to the Canada match and shares her fond memories of her first Women’s World Cup. Note: On Oct. 8, Boxx was named to the FIFA Women’s World Cup 2003 Best 11 players, an incredible accomplishment for a player playing in her first world championship with only six international appearances under her belt.

It's a couple days after our team’s heart-breaking loss to Germany and I’m finding it difficult to write this journal.  Writing this is going to make me re-live that day and how do I put into words the feelings that I felt when that final whistle blew?  How do I explain my feelings the next day when we should be training for the final game, but instead we are given the day off to mend?  Like anything that breaks your heart, you feel fine when you aren't thinking about it, but the
minute it creeps back into your mind your heart breaks all over again. 

Sometimes soccer is a funny game. You can play well, you can have lots of chances, you
can even hold the other team to one shot on goal in the first half, and you can still lose.  I'm sad, I'm upset, I'm disappointed and I feel responsible for not playing the best I know I can play.  My comfort comes in knowing how much my teammates put into that game. We all left our hearts on that field.

We prepared like we had throughout the tournament.  We were focused and ready to kick some butt.  We continued our tradition of taking pictures and listening to music in the locker room before the game and as Julie said while warming up, "We are ready!" I knew coming into this game it was going to be a tight match.  The Germans love to possess the ball, as we
do.  They are physical and good in the air, like we are.  It was going to be a good game.

The final score was 3-0 for Germany, but it was much closer than that.  Germany scored off a corner kick in the 15th minute.  It was their only shot on goal that half. In the second half our team dominated and kept pounding on the door.  Not once did I think we were out of the
game.  I just knew we were going to get one.  By the 89th minute we had everyone flying forward trying to put one in the back of the net, but in extra time, Germany got two goals and beat the
United States. 

The next day we were on our own.  I decided to spend the day with my family and spend a little money. Nike's main facility is located in Beaverton, Oregon where there is also an employee store (lets just say it’s more like a warehouse) with great discounts. Nike had invited our team and family members to shop at their employee store while we were in town for the game and when my family and I got there we noticed some of my teammates and coaching staff had the same idea. After shopping for two hours and getting most of my Christmas shopping done two months early I started to feel a little better. 

Life has gone on after that day and we are preparing for our game against Canada on Saturday in Carson, California. We trained one more time in Portland, had a major autograph signing party in our hotel where we were able to get our own memorabilia signed by our teammates, and got
back on our chartered plane and headed down to California.  This World Cup didn't turn out the exact way I would have wanted it, but if I take a step back and look at what I have just been a part of, a smile begins to form and I realize it wasn't so bad writing this last journal because it has also made me relive all the extraordinary moments. 

I have been a part of something big and something important and not many players can say that.  I played with and against the best women soccer players in the world.  My game has improved to new heights and I have made some amazing new friends.  I have also had the opportunity to share the ups and downs this team has been through with you and I thank you for being a part
our journey. 

I know we will finish this World Cup with as much passion and heart we had coming into this tournament.  If nothing else, I have learned how much heart and dedication my teammates have for each other and to their country.  Thanks for reading the "Soap Boxx" and of course, thanks very much to all the fans who supported the team through this World Cup!

I will see on Saturday!