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Washington Spirit Defender Marisa Abegg announces her retirement today. Abegg became a part of the Washington Spirit family late in the 2013 season and helped to make a significant difference within the team.
“Marisa is a great player and a fantastic person and will be missed by all at the club. Last season she answered the phone to me and the next day dropped everything and was on a plane to join us,” general manager and head coach, Mark Parsons said of the new. “This sums up the amazing person she is and we are all very grateful for what she did for us last season the role she played as a key player in the great results at the end. I know everyone at the club will fully support Marisa like she has supported us and wish her the very best in her career and life. I have also already told her to keep her phone on loud between March and August.”
Abegg started in 4 matches, played in 5 recording a total of 409 minutes of play time during the 2013 for the Washington Spirit.
Abegg played for the Stanford during her college career. Abegg has played for FC Gold Pride, Washington Freedom, DC United Women, Gulf Cost Texans and Washington Spirit during her professional career in the WPS, USL W-League, WPSL and NWSL leagues respectively.
“I was honored to be a part of the sport, part of the NWSL, and most of all, part of the Washington Spirit family. I will never, in all of my 100+ years, forget that experience,” said Abegg.
As to what’s next for Abegg, “Right now I volunteer five days a week in two different free medical clinics in Pensacola for the uninsured, unemployed, and homeless members of the community. It is exhausting but incredibly rewarding. I also spent the last 5 months in an EMT training program and am going to be working on the local ambulance in the next month or so, with the hopes of going to PA school next year. Other than that, I’m taking healthcare-related classes, teaching a kids fitness and exercise class at a local crossfit gym, and planning to spend whatever free time I have at the beautiful white sand beaches! Oh and I already have my cleats ready for pick-up soccer once it warms up a bit down here!”
It is hard to believe that you are retiring, can you tell us why you have decided to make this decision?
Soccer has always been a huge part of who I am. In fact, I’ve dedicated the first quarter of my life to it (yes, I plan on living at least to 100!) and wouldn’t trade a day of that away. Some of my greatest memories are on the pitch with teammates, coaches, trainers, and fans. I am beyond grateful for the doors my soccer career has opened up for me, one of which was being able to utilize these experiences as a means to promote health and wellness through various volunteering and coaching experiences. Now I think it’s time to put my education and passion for science and medicine to use and continue helping people in need through healthcare. It’s a long road ahead, so I have to start somewhere!
Can you summarize your career in three words?
Nope. There is no way I can sum up such an enormous part of my life in three words, but I’ll try ten: Emotional, Challenging, Demanding, Gratifying, Passionate, Exciting, Motivating, Magnificent, Wholehearted, Unforgettable
What was it like for you to be called to play for the Spirit last season? How did you feel once you were on the pitch?
If I said anything less than incredible, I’d just be bluffing. I will admit, I was also terrified. Having played in the WPSL for a few years, I had forgotten what the level was like at the top and didn’t know if I could hang. When I stepped on the field for the first time, the speed and level of play did not disappoint. It was awesome. Fortunately I had a wonderfully talented and supportive group of women, coaches and staff that helped me along and made the transition relatively easy. The remaining few weeks flew by. In the middle of training sessions and games, I found myself thinking about how lucky I was to be playing soccer and to be surrounded by such a friendly and welcoming group of teammates.
Most memorable moment in your career?
It’s hard to say. I’ve had so many moments, ranging from heartbreaking to incredible. There are far too many to narrow down to just one. Most recently, if I had to pick, it would be stepping onto Maureen Hendricks Field for my first time with the Spirit and feeling so “at home.” From seeing familiar faces in the crowd when we walked into the stadium, to the sound of the whistle blowing for kickoff, I will never forget how excited and nervous, of course, I was to be there. Thank you to all of the players, coaches, staff and fans for your support, love, and truly believing in me– It means the world to me. I couldn’t have done it without every single one of you!