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Postcard From New Zealand: Erika Tymrak

Every so often when a U.S. Women’s National Team plays out of the country, a player will write an e-postcard, filling in the fans back home on the happenings of the team, off field activities, and anything else on their mind. Today midfielder Erika Tymrak, alt hough a bit tired after the USA’s emotional victory over Germany in the semifinal, talks about the USA’s historic win, the American’s run through the tournament and how One Tree Hill is serious business for these U-17 National Team players.

I am writing this postcard in the airport in Christchurch. Last night we beat Germany and it was one of the most exciting games I’ve ever been a part of. They scored first and I don’t want to say we were freaking out, but we were definitely nervous and didn’t want our tournament to end just yet.

I hurt myself in the first game against Japan so this whole tournament I’ve been trying to be really responsible and get healthy so I could help the team if needed, and thankfully Kaz called my name in the second half and I got to go in. I ran on the field over to the right and I knew my mark was number eleven who was twice my size! But I didn’t let it get in my head. It just felt good to play out there in front of a big crowd.

I had a lot of energy because I haven’t been playing very much so I guess I just let it all out on the play where I got an assist on Vicki DiMartino’s goal. Sometimes when I cross, I hit it with the wrong part of my foot and it spins over the goal and out of bounds and when I hit that cross, I thought that’s what it was going to do. I fell down as I crossed, but then I heard the crowd roar and I looked on the big screen and saw it was a goal!

It was like exciting and relieving at the same time. It was just amazing.

Now we are headed to Auckland to play in the World Cup Final, which really is a dream come true for all of us. I feel like we’ve really earned it after a bad start to this tournament and I know all the girls are going to help each other and encourage each other through what is going to be a really hard game against North Korea. I know we will leave it all on the field for each other and our country.

Every time we get a chance to rest during this tournament we pretty much hibernate in our rooms and watch One Tree Hill. Then after each episode we sit and talk and analyze what happened and what we think might happen next. We are sort of like the CNN of One Tree Hill.

I have been rooming with Morgan Brian, who is the youngest player on the team, so I feel like I have to give her lots of advice. Actually, she is probably more mature than me, but that’s why we make good roomies. We are having lots of fun and I think it’s been a life-changing experience for the players on this team.

Just the experience of traveling all over the world and representing our country in a World Cup is something that you dream about and for it to happen when we are just 16 and 17 (or in Morgan’s case, 15), is something that we are all truly grateful for.

We have been in New Zealand for about three and half weeks and while we will be coming home soon, I can’t wait to see my real sister Mel, my Polish sister Jess, my soccer girls at IMG in Bradenton, Fla. and my best friend Rayha. Thanks to all of you for supporting us while we’ve been gone and for helping me get to this World Cup. It’s been awesome!

Do zobaczenia from New Zealand!