Rose Lavelle had as good a debut in the World Cup as you could imagine. The 24-year old midfielder notched a pair of goals in the 13-0 destruction of Thailand in Tuesday’s Group F opener.
She knocked one past the goalkeeper from outside the box at the 20-minute mark to make the score 2-0 early. After her second goal at minute 56, the margin was seven goals. While much of the press deservedly went to Alex Morgan for her record-breaking five goals, Lavelle proved to be a dangerous addition in the midfield for the defending World Cup champions.
Here’s what you need to know about her before the U.S. plays Chile in the second leg of the Group Stage (12 p.m. EST, Fox).
1. She Hails from Cincinnati, Where She Played High School Soccer at Mount Notre Dame
Rosemary Lavelle was born May 24, 1995 in Cincinnati to parents Marty and Janet. Her three siblings are John, Nora and Mary.
Heavy talked to Brian Page, the former director of her youth soccer organization Lakota United. After she tried out for Sycamore United when “she was seven or eight,” she made the U-9 team for the Lakota Sports Organization.
Her coach was an Englishman named Neil Bradford, wrote Cincinnati Magazine in 2015. Her mom was the team administrator.
She played for the club for five years until she moved onto the Cincinnati U-14 club before finding herself at Mount Notre Dame High School.
According to her USA Soccer bio, she earned a slew of accolades during her four years lettering at Mount Notre Dame.
Named Cincinnati Player of the Year by The Cincinnati Enquirer during senior season after scoring 15 goals … Earned the Greater Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky Sports Woman of the Year award in 2013 … Finished her career as school’s all-time leading goal scorer (57), while earning NSCAA All-Region and First-Team All-State honors … Named to the NSCA All-Region team during both her senior and junior campaigns.
Mount Notre Dame is an all-female Catholic preparatory school in Reading, a suburb of Cincinnati.
2. She Starred for 4 Years at the University of Wisconsin
She earned a scholarship to play for the University of Wisconsin-Madison, where she majored in Sociology. According to her school bio, she contributed immediately, scoring six goals in her first season to earn Big Ten Freshman of the Year honors. She also made first-team All-Big Ten and led the team in shots (73).
She made second-team All-American the next season, followed by first-team honors the year after that. She tallied 17 points with seven goals and three assists, which propelled her to a semifinalist spot for the MAC Hermann Award, given to the nation’s best male and female soccer players.
She also took home the 2014 US Soccer Young Female Athlete of the Year.
“This is a great honor for Rose and we are very proud of her,” said Bobby Puppione, Cincinatti United Premier’s Director of Coaching for Girls. “She has worked very hard through the years to get to this point. It is fun for our current players to see a former CUP player playing on one of the biggest stages. We will see her shine brighter in years to come at Wisconsin and the National Team.”
Additional collegiate accolades can be found below:
• NSCAA All-Great Lakes First Team (2014, 2015, 2016)
• NSCAA All-Great Lakes Third Team (2013)
• Senior CLASS Award Second Team (2016)
• Big Ten Midfielder of the Year (2015, 2016)
• First Team All-Big Ten (2013, 2014, 2015, 2016)
• Soccer America Preseason All-America Team (2014)
• Finalist, 2014 U.S. Soccer Young Female Athlete of the Year
• Ranked No. 2 player in college soccer, Top Drawer Soccer (2015)
3. She Was Drafted No. 1 in the NWSL Draft by the Boston Breakers
According to USA Soccer, she was drafted No. 1 overall in the 2017 NWSL Draft by the Boston Breakers.
Lavelle’s selection marked the fourth consecutive year a U.S. WNT player was chosen with the top pick, following in the footsteps of Crystal Dunn (2014), Morgan Brian (2015) and Emily Sonnett (2016).
She also made her USWNT debut that same year. She first hit the pitch for the full 90 minutes on March 4 against England. On April 9, she scored her first international goal on April 9 against Russia, and added a second (the game-winner) against Sweden on June 8 in Gothenburg.
She now plays professionally for the Washington Spirit. According to Oregon Live, the minimum player salary is $16,538, while the maximum salary is $46,200. It’s unclear what Lavelle and her teammates make on the national team after the recent discrimination lawsuit, but they used to make just under $5,000 per friendly match (more than $8,000 less than the men).
4. Lavelle’s Nickname is the “Nutmeg Duchess,” as Tobin Heath is the “Nutmeg Queen”
The term nutmegging, or more simply megging, refers to soccer players embarassing defenders with their dribbling skills. Lavelle’s teammate Tobin Heath is known as the “Nutmeg Queen” for her absurb ball-handling skills, but Lavelle is close enough to earn the moniker “Nutmeg Duchess.”
We first saw snippets of her nutmeg skills against England, but it was against Russia however, when Lavelle’s video game-level skills were on full display.
First, she had a spectacular dribble down the end line on the right side early in the game where she pushed a ball past a player, ran around her, then nutmegged a second defender inside the penalty box. Unfortunately, she couldn’t make it past the third and the final piece didn’t materialize. Minutes later, she had another nutmeg, this time with a back-heel pass. The best part? She seems right at home on the field in what was just her third international appearance.
Since joining the national team in 2017, she has 28 caps, as well as nine goals.
5. She Has a Specific Training & Dieting Routine
Lavelle explained her training, dieting and rest regimen to PopSugar Fitness. While she admits to loving Chipotle, she mostly mixes eggs or chicken for protein and pasta or a bagel for carbs.
She also uses various techniques to remain calm and grounded during the grind of tournament preparation.
When Rose isn’t working out, she’ll do cryotherapy, go on a light jog for active rest, or “just chill.” Her favorite app for meditation is Headspace. She regularly sees a sports psychologist who has helped her overcome the burden of past injuries and the stress that an international stage can put on your body and mind. Sports psychologists are there to listen to your insecurities, Rose explained, and she values having that outlet.
So far, that balance of mental and physical care has paid off in France for the World Cup. Barring an unforeseen collapse in the Group Stage, she and the U.S. will have ample opportunities to continue impressing the rest of the world.