What does it mean to be a female athlete?

March 26, 2021

Lizzy Sommeling:

Lizzy Sommeling plays soccer for Cherry Hill East. (Lizzy Sommeling (’23))

Whether you’re talking about male or female sports, no one captures the essence of ‘team’ better than Abby Wambach, the US Women’s Soccer Team’s all-time scoring leader, who said “…winning any individual award is a total product of the team that you play for. I’ve never scored a goal in my life without getting a pass from someone else.” In 2011, she became the first ever soccer player of either gender to be named Athlete of the Year by the Associated Press. To me, Abby’s commitment and work ethic, combined with her unselfish approach to the game, is a good example for anyone looking to improve their game and excel in team sports. In fact, Abby’s idea/phrase could be used to express the importance of teamwork in any field… It’s like the old adage, “there is no ‘I’ in team.”



Caroline Perry:

Caroline Perry (’22) plays soccer and basketball for Cherry Hill East. (Caroline Perry (’22))

“The success of every woman should be the inspiration to another”- Serena Williams. As a female athlete my coaches and family were not my only inspiration, other women athletes contributed to my desire to play. They taught me to set goals, even if they felt impossible to accomplish. Even if it meant I would have to use all of my willpower to reach my goals. My advice for other female athletes is to believe in yourselves even when you are doubted. Set goals and be determined to achieve them. Those who doubt will only motivate your craving for success and your confidence to believe in yourself.


Vinnie Lin:

Vinnie Lin (’22) plays basketball for Cherry Hill East. (Vinnie Lin (’22))

As a female athlete, I think women play an important role in sports today. Their dedication and passion for their sport inspires younger girls to work hard to become better athletes and follow in their path. Not only do they positively impact younger girls, but female athletes are also breaking boundaries on a larger scale by bringing light to gender equality in sports. My advice for other female athletes is to keep working hard and pushing yourselves to new levels to achieve your goals in the sport you play. Be confident and don’t underestimate yourselves because just like Simone Biles said, “We can push ourselves further. We always have more to give.”


Annie Behm:

Annie Behm (’21) swims for East. (Annie Behm (’21))

“You never know how strong you are until being strong is the only choice you have”- Missy Franklin. As a female athlete, I think one of the most inspiring things to see is other women paving the way for everyone behind them. Equal recognition is so important for every female in sport, because it opens the door to opportunities for others to chase the same success. Because of the celebrated success of Olympic level swimmers like Missy Franklin, I never had doubts that similar feats were possible for me. My advice for other female athletes is to never put a limit on your potential. It’s often so easy to have confidence in others, but if you place that same confidence in yourself, more doors will open up for you. Once you achieve something, it’s important to celebrate your accomplishments, but there are always greater things out there. If you are confident in yourself, it makes the pursuit of your goals more straightforward and obtainable.

Sarah Teng:

Sarah Teng (’22) swims for East. (Sarah Teng (’22))

Katie Ledecky once said “before you can achieve you must believe… in yourself.” As a female athlete, I’ve encountered the feelings of doubt and insecurity numerous times. However, throughout my journey, I’ve learned that the key to success is confidence. Confidence is not just in your training, but more importantly in yourself. My advice to other female athletes is to believe in yourself, even when nobody else does. Your mind is your biggest component, the only thing that stands between you and success. Even when it seems impossible to reach a certain goal, keep pushing yourself, keep believing in yourself, and keep believing in your potential.

Elliana Tonghini :

Elliana Tonghini (’22) plays tennis for East. (Elliana Tonghini (’22))

Being a female athlete is something that is so important to me that at times, it

is hard to put into words. So many people doubt the true capabilities of a woman and put limits on what women should be able to achieve but in reality, all humans have the same potential as one another. “She believed she could, so she did”(R.S. Grey) is a very well-known quote by a woman, and I don’t think it could be any more true. Women put in the work to transcend the doubts of others, and surpass the standards set. Female athletes become role models for one another, whether it be a world-renowned soccer player or simply another teammate on your softball team.

Elliana Tonghini (’22) runs cross country and track for East. (Elliana Tonghini (’22))

Women bring each other up to be better each and every day, and I truly believe that is the epitome of being a female athlete. My advice to other female athletes is to not be afraid to fail. Failure is simply a stepping stone to success and once you are able to develop that mindset, an internal confidence will grow that will not only apply to the sports you are playing, but to every aspect of your life. Keep at it, always believe, and never ever give up.




Haley Krassan :

Haley Krassan (’22) plays field hockey and lacrosse for East (Haley Krassan (’22) )

I believe that participating in sports has without question been one of the most important things I have done in high school. Being a part of the field hockey and lacrosse teams has been so important for me to be able to make new friends with not only girls in my grade but also upperclassmen who have helped me all throughout high school. In addition to forming new friendships, playing sports has taught me how to manage my time. After getting home late from games I still have to eat, shower, do homework, and spend time with my family all early enough for me to get a good night’s sleep and work hard again the next day. Long practices have taught me how rewarding it feels to play well in a game and feel myself improving. While sometimes being a student athlete is not always the easiest task, it is the most rewarding and I am extremely thankful for the opportunity to get to play the sports that I love.

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