By Paul D. Bowker, Red Line Editorial
OAK BROOK, Ill. - Halfway through a recent Chicago Red Stars practice, three attackers moved ahead with the ball, precisely targeted in on the goal. Immediately, Kate Markgraf sprinted into the middle of play from her defensive position. Soccer class was in session.
Soon, the ball deflected out of play, and another rotation was back in action.
Not bad for a 33-year-old mother of three.
"She amazes me," Red Stars coach Emma Hayes said. "She really does. She's inspiring to be around ... a pleasure to coach."
Markgraf, in her own way, almost shrugs off the attention. She is playing soccer the way she always has in six world championship events, at the University of Notre Dame and in her native Michigan as a youth. That is to say, with passion.
"I don't have any fairytale storybook traditions," Markgraf said. "My whole goal is to go ahead every single day with the best attitude and the best mind-set and to give 100 percent every day, and the chips will fall where they may. Do the best I can."
Read Paul Bowker's full piece at TeamUSA.org.