The Athletic Reporter
September 12, 2005 Sports News the Way You Want It. Completely Made Up. Issue 127
All Of New England Despondent Over U.S. Women's World Cup Soccer Loss
Originally posted 10/20/2003

Stunned New England sports fans react to the U.S. women's World Cup loss
BOSTON - The sports fans of New England say they will try to move on, but it could take a long time. After suffering through such an excruciating, gut-wrenching defeat, many Northeasterners aren't sure what to do next. "You follow them with your heart and soul," said Alan O'Reilly of Worcester, Mass, "since you're a little kid. And then, they go and break your heart like this. I don't know if I can take any more."

O'Reilly was referring, of course, to the United States women's soccer team's semi-final loss last week to eventual champion Germany in the 2003 Women's World Cup. Many other New Englanders expressed similar feelings of shock an dismay at the match's outcome.

"I just can't believe they lost. Not like that. Not to that team," said Glenn Fitzsimmons of Munklin, Maine. "Just when you think it's all starting to come together, something like that happens. Unbelievable. I don't even know. . . just unbelievable. I know it sounds crazy to say something like this, but, the United States women's soccer team is my life."

Fans hoping for a repeat of the triumphs of old were left wanting for more. "When they won [the World Cup] in 1999, it really brought the nation together," Portsmouth, New Hampshire resident Shelley Adams said. "There was this completely genuine feeling of pride and goodwill that wasn't at all over-hyped by sports media outlets compensating for virtually ignoring and completely marginalizing women's sports, just so they could point to their two weeks of women's World Cup coverage when such accusations of ignorance and marginalization arose. As a result, people became sincerely interested in not just women's sports in general but women's soccer in particular."

Several New England fans were left wishing that women's soccer had never swept the nation like a highly contagious fever in the late summer of 1999. "If only that 1999 World Cup hadn't been so incredibly unforgettable and compelling," said Tommy Barnes of Boston. "Then we here in New England, and all across the whole country, wouldn't have felt the need to follow the 2003 Women's World Cup so closely and we could have saved ourselves a whole lot of heartbreak. I'm gonna take this loss wicked hard."

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