Some insight from alumna Izod Twain

Posted on July 25, 2014 in Editorial.

10461398_10152599661230996_9070332644504918653_nThank you and Kudos to all for all your efforts to gather, stories shared, and laughter. I haven’t laughed that hard in a while and…come that close to a heart attack…Keep it rolling…

A couple wandering thoughts if I may…Lord knows my job was still entertainment on Friday…”Tight end to the microphone”…so I didn’t really share my serious thoughts…(yes occasionally, I have them!) 

[columnize]Driving to Cortland Friday I began to truly reflect (and try to remember) “the experience” and then think about how it impacted my life and the lives of all of us. It is a story that does need to be told! But what really is the story line here? Is it who we were, what we did, or who we became with who we were and what we did?

As the pioneers for women’s soccer, we didn’t come into a culture of success, we developed it. At Cortland, we cultivated a culture of achievement that no one took for granted. It was a culture of mutual respect and support, and camaraderie. We each brought something to the table and more importantly we each recognized and accentuated the diverse gifts and strengths of others. We bonded because of our service in and through soccer. We became committed to making Cortland Women’s Soccer number 1. Our passion for this purpose became the drive for each one of us individually, and those shared values and common goals became the foundation for a program that grew, and for history in the making. Title IX had been around for eight years and we were blessed to have that open door of opportunity. It was a new era for women’s sports; soccer was growing in popularity within the United States. However, the emphasis in the media was on women’s individual sports like tennis, golf, figure skating and running. Women’s team sports were insignificant!

The highlight of ladies sports during 1980 were; Jan 26th – Mary Decker became 1st woman to run a mile in under 4½ minutes; Mar 30th – Nancy Lopez wins LPGA Women’s Kemper Golf Open; Jul 5th – 87th Wimbledon Women’s Tennis: Evonne Goolagong beats Chrissie Evert (61 76); Sep 6th Chantal Langlace sets women’s record for fastest 100K run (7h27m22s); and ​,​ Oct 26th – 10th NYC Women’s Marathon won by Grete Waitz in 2:25:41.3.

ALL INDIVIDUAL WOMEN’S SPORTS…(again, I digress, however, please note-…cheerleading wasn’t recognized as a sport yet…although the Dallas Cowboys had their “team of cheerleaders”🙂!)

With each goal scored, with each “All-American” save in the goal, with each “St Louie” in midfield, with each win on the field we continued to grow and get notice. People, players, parents, spectators wanted a piece of what was brewing in Cortland. We were a small semi-organized team with little resources and no authority trying to establish an identity through the game of soccer. This is counter-intuitive to today’s media rich culture and brand building mentality. Perhaps this is why it has taken over thirty years for the ​”story to leak​”​.

Under the guidance of Anna Rush we were left to our own soccer autonomy. We were a team with the desire for quality through mutual accountability—this was internalized by each. I firmly believe Anna Rush was the core reason for our success. She taught us much more than soccer. She taught us how to blend, how to lead, how to learn, how to lose graciously and ….how to win!! We were family and Momma Rush did her damndest to teach us and keep us in line…God bless her patience, her fortitude, and belief in each of us. Habitually, I think of people who have impacted my life. I immediately think of Anna Rush. She was humble, caring, and wise. She always possessed and exuded a quiet confidence, a sense of assurance that we as a team internalized and utilized as a motivational tool. And we still do!

​ So “who did we become” with “who we are and what we did”? We became better people through the experience, through the historical sporting events that can never be changed and should be celebrated. We became wives, mothers, teachers, coaches, administrators, engineers (still trying to figure that one out Mills). We became ambassadors for women’s soccer and we represented the foundational principles​ of ​Title IX. We seized the opportunity afforded us and we have used it throughout every aspect of our lives to illustrate for girls growing up over the last three decades that women’s sports teams in the United States have, with dignity and poise, earned equality of rights.

And perhaps more importantly when you look at what we each did with our experience, we are, in turn, changing and enhancing the lives of others…thereby, making the world a better place. ​

After all, ​ I can’t remember the last time I heard someone say to me​ “you kick like a girl”!!! [/columnize]

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