Elizabeth Ball is a Richmond Striker. She played travel soccer as well as competed in the ECNL. This week, she and her Portland Thorns teammates are preparing for the NWSL Finals on Saturday!
Ball played for Deep Run High School, helping the Wildcats to an undefeated season and a 2013 State Championship. She picked up numerous awards in high school and continued as she went to play college soccer at Penn State.
As a Nittany Lion, Ball made 95 appearances, scoring 5 goals and winning the 2015 NCAA Division I Women's Soccer Championship. Ball finished her career as the fourth all-time in minutes played (7,881).
In 2018, Ball signed her first ever professional contract with Portland Thorns FC in the NWSL.
On Saturday, the Portland Thorns will take on the North Carolina Courage. The NWSL Finals will be held Saturday, September 22nd at 1: 30 PM ET and will be shown live on Lifetime.
The Strikers were able to reconnect with Elizabeth and ask her some questions!
Richmond Strikers: Congratulations on reaching the NWSL Finals! How has your experience been with the Portland Thorns been this year?
Elizabeth Ball: First off, thank you it is amazing to be going to the NWSL Final my first year in the league. I am so grateful that I have had the opportunity to play for this amazing club. Playing on this team has allowed me to train in an environment that is one of the best in the world. Stepping out on the field everyday with women like Tobin Heath, Christine Sinclair, and Lindsay Horan has given me the opportunity to learn and grow so much in only one season. It is an experience that I will be forever grateful for and I will never forget my first year with the Thorns.
RS: What are the difference between playing Division 1 at Penn State?
EB: Penn State has a pretty professional environment, so leaving college to play professionally wasn't too drastic of a change. The level is obviously higher and I don't have to go to class everyday now, but overall I feel like playing for Penn State really put me on the right foot to play post college.
RS: You grew up playing for the Richmond Strikers, what is your favorite memory or moment playing for the Strikers?
EB: My favorite memory from playing with the Richmond Strikers was when we went on one of our first ECNL trips to Texas. I don't even remember if we won our games or not, but I do remember having the most fun with my team.
RS: What will the teams’ preparation be ahead of Saturday’s final against North Carolina Courage?
EB: Leading up to the game on Saturday we are just preparing like any other game this season. We are focused and know that no matter who we will be playing we need to bring everything we have.
RS: How have you enjoyed living in Portland so far?
EB: I have loved living in Portland! It is so different from Richmond and State College. The people here are so unique, and the food is unreal!
RS: How excited are you to be playing in an NWSL Final at home?
EB: Being able to play the final at home is such a blessing. We have the best fans in the NWSL. I can’t wait for 21,000 of the loudest fans to be cheering us on. I have never been to a city that is so die hard women's soccer and we are so lucky we get to share this game with our fans at home.
RS: If you could give any advice to any Richmond Strikers young girls striving to go down the same path that you have, what would you say to them?
EB:The best advice I have to give is; wake up every morning with the attitude that you will get better whether you are in the classroom, on the field or spending time with friends and family. Embrace each moment and attack it with the mindset that you are working to be the best you.
Photo credit: ISI Photos