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Former 'Cane Beverly Goebel Makes Impressive WPS Debut

Former 'Cane Beverly Goebel Makes Impressive WPS Debut

May 20, 2010

by Dan Lauletta – Special to womensprosoccer.com

Down a pair of key international players, the Washington Freedom turned to rookie Beverly Goebel and the 21-year-old rookie impressed in her first extended WPS action.

“So excited, it was so much fun,” the University of Miami graduate said.  “I enjoyed every minute of it.”

The Freedom made Goebel their third round pick in the 2010 WPS Draft—27th overall—and Sunday she proved herself a valuable depth player on a Freedom side missing Homare Sawa and Lisa De Vanna for National Team duty.  A week earlier Goebel had her number called after Abby Wambach had her nose broken in the 88th minute, but Sunday she saw her first significant time, banking more than half an hour as a second-half substitute.

“She changed the game,” defender Becky Sauerbrunn said.  “She settled the midfield down and helped keep the ball.  She was huge yesterday.  For her to come in and play as well as she did is just a reflection of the kind of person that she is.”

“I thought I did okay,” a less effusive Goebel said.  “It was hard for me at first because of course I was a little nervous.  But I felt like I really got into my comfort zone and that was because of my team.  Every single person on the field was just so encouraging.”

Admittedly shy and intimidated when she arrived with the Freedom, Goebel has since been blown away by the support of her teammates—notably Rebecca Moros.

“I honestly did not expect to make an impact this early so I am so happy and thankful that they’ve been there and brought me to where I am now,” Goebel said.

Goebel, who played board games with her parents because she was too nervous to follow the draft, had heard good things about Freedom coach Jim Gabarra and his staff and was crossing her fingers she would wind up in Washington.

On Sunday Goebel held possession well on the right flank and tracked back aggressively on defense.  She took one shot at goal after Beat ‘keeper Brett Maron gave the ball away on a clearance, but she missed the top corner.  When the internationals return Goebel will likely slide back down the depth chart, but her strong performance is evidence that Gabarra and his staff still have the knack when it comes to uncovering talented players able to contribute to good teams.

“(We) got to do a little bit better job at possessing the ball and making them chase,” the understated Gabarra said after the 2-0 victory moved the Freedom over .500 for the first time this season.  “Credit to our team that we worked hard and battled and tried to possess the ball.  We could have done a little bit better but took the chances that we had pretty well.”