When the U.S. Women’s World Cup soccer team takes the field at 11 a.m. Wednesday in Germany to battle France with a spot in the championship game on the line, a Ladue High graduate will be in position to impact sports history.
Becky Sauerbrunn, a 2003 Ladue grad, is starting today in place of Rachel Buehler on the back line. It will be Sauerbrunn’s first appearance in a World Cup match, though she does have eight international caps (appearances playing for the U.S. national team). That includes World Cup-qualifying matches. Buehler is sitting out because of a red card she received on Sunday.
Sauerbrunn had 21 goals and 19 assists during her memorable senior year at Ladue. She went on to star for four seasons at the University of Virginia, where she was the ACC Defensive Player of the Year in 2007, among many other honors.
She is now a member of the Washington Freedom in Women’s Professional Soccer.
The U.S. women’s team made global headlines on Sunday with its improbable and theatrical rally to overcome powerful Brazil in the quarterfinals on penalty kicks. Team leader Abby Wambach stunned all observers when she finished off a perfect crossing pass from teammate Megan Rapinoe with a goal-scoring header during extra time following the 30 minutes of overtime play to tie the match at 2-2. That set up the penultimate U.S. triumph that was highlighted by goalkeeper Hope Solo coming up clutch during penalty kicks.
Wambach, 31, is third in U.S. women’s national team history with 120 goals. This may very well be her final chance at the ultimate World Cup glory.
“Losing is not an option,” Wambach said at a press conference on Tuesday. “It’s going to be a physical game.”
Wambach and Sauerbrunn are teammates for the Washington Freedom.
Patch featured Sauerbrunn last December during the World Cup-qualifying rounds, and you can .