CINCINNATI (FOX19) - Four months ago Cincinnati’s own Rose Lavelle shined playing in all five world cup games and helping team USA win the cup. Thursday night she shared her own struggles and triumphs, and even touched on controversial issues during an open discussion with a younger audience at Northern Kentucky University.
Early on, Lavelle made it clear that Cincinnati is not only her hometown, but maybe her future professional home too.
“I mean, I love love love Cincinnati!” Exclaimed Lavelle, “I feel like I am Cincinnati’s biggest advocate. I always say Cincinnati is the city that built me and it’s given so much to me so I would love to be able to play for them and give back.”
That was Lavelle’s response when asked if she would ever consider playing professional soccer in the Queen City.
Northern Kentucky University hosted the US women's national team midfielder as part of their speaker series.
Lavelle also addressed more serious topics like the recent NCAA ruling on paying college athletes. Lavelle remembers an incident where she wanted to donate one of her national team jerseys for a charity event. The NCAA denied that request.
“It felt kind of hypocritical,” explained Lavelle, “Like you make money off so many athletes names but you’re not going to let them do the same thing.”
More than 600 people attended the event Thursday including many college students and young girls too.
“I really wasn’t expecting to have so many younger players here,” NKU student Rayn Griffin said, “But I’m so glad that they were here to be able to see a role model up here talking and seeing that they can be in her position too.”
Ten -year-old Taylor Murphy was excited to see Lavelle in person.
“When I see Rose Lavelle on TV it inspires me to go on and I just want to see her,” Murphy said.
Ava Freppon says she was first inspired by Lavelle when she saw a video of her on Youtube.
“I think it’s really cool because she’s local and she’s really kind of famous,” Freppon said.
Lavelle took plenty of time after the event to sigh autographs and pose for pictures with aspiring young girls that want to be just like her.
Early next year Lavelle and her teammates will compete in the Women’s Olympic Qualifying Championship. That tournament will determine who goes to the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.
Those games will begin in late January.