TYLER, Texas (KETK) – It seems surreal, from one day, watching the Women’s National Team on TV in East Texas, to knowing the next time you see them, you’ll be in the stands, in Paris, France.
“We were thrilled, we didn’t think it was actually going to happen, it’s kind of like, pinch me are we dreaming,” said UT Tyler outside left-back Gracia Grohn.
“Figuring out that we actually got the opportunity to do it, coach has actually made it happen, our university are so blessed to let us go over there and play like, it’s a dream honestly,” said forward Kiara Rolen.
The Patriots women’s soccer team will fly out of Dallas on Friday, and the next day, they’ll be hitting the pitch, facing one of their 2nd Division French opponents.
“We’ve brought in new players that are joining our squad this fall, so to get them up to speed in our language, you know, our style of play, and our brand and then just getting us excited and having fun and ready to go to the World Cup,” said head coach Stefani Webb.
Since UT Tyler is in the process of moving up to Division Two, the ladies, along with the rest of the athletic programs, can’t compete in the postseason, but a trip to France to see Team USA and compete overseas, well that’s not a bad consolation.
“France it better honestly, I mean, to get to go overseas and play with some of my best friends is like, it’s a dream come true,” said Rolen.
“You’ve grown up watching them your whole life, and now you get to go to the World Cup and see them in person, so it’s just going to be amazing,” said Grohn.
“For us to be able to to do this, in replacement of that, just to have a once in a lifetime experience for them, I think will really move our program forward as we get looking forward to D2,” said Webb.
They’ll be watching the World Cup, and competing against European teams, along with showcasing their pride in being Patriots, in more ways than one.
“I think it’s the coolest thing ever, to not only represent UT Tyler, but Texas and America too, just kind of show them how we play,” said Grohn.