She laughs as she recalls her mom having the paper she’d written her goal on - and how that she didn’t want to just be an athlete or a soccer player, shewanted to be a women’s pro-soccer player. This anecdote sums Beverly up, an incredible passion and desire for the sport she loves.You can’t help but be
endeared to this smiley, chatty and genuine person. She talks about soccer, family and her journey with an ease, amusement and honesty that is disarming
to listen to.
Beverly’s journey has been steady, always improving, but not without its challenges and often with the need to make major life decisions in short time
frames. Starting at five years old she’s only ever played soccer. Beverly laughs as she explains that aside from the fact that soccer has always been her
passion, the fact that she is really bad at every other sport has helped! “I love to watch, but I can’t play any other sport,” she further explains. Fast
forward (through a lot of hard work and training) to when Beverly went to the University of Miami on a Soccer scholarship and from there to WNY Flash as
a rookie, where she played with the likes of Abi Wambach. Here, she won the Championship with the team in the first season.
However, four weeks before the new season, Beverly had a phone call to inform her that the league had folded and she needed to find a new job. With the
potential of her career and dreams over she had a choice to make: change career or go on the team trip to Japan that was already going ahead prior to the
new season. In order to continue pursuing her dream, going on tour seemed the best option.
Whilst in Japan she was scouted and offered a contract, and for the second time in her short career a major decision had to be made at short notice. She
had one week to decide if she wanted to accept a contract to play in Japan for a year, starting straight away as the season had already started.
Japan has been good to Beverly: in her two seasons there she has won the Championship and Cup with her club both years and this year she was awarded the
Golden Boot as the highest scorer in the league. The interesting thing though is that for Beverly these are just a side feature. For her it has been about
her development both as a player and as an individual that has made the time in Japan time so valuable. “Being in Japan has helped me find who I am and
what my my strengths and weaknesses are,” she says about her time there.
This leads us back to the very first point I mentioned at the start of the article. As humble as Beverly is, there is a steely determination that has
seen her through her whole soccer career, pushing her against herself to improve continuously. This isn’t someone who is happy to sit on her laurels or
be told that she is great. Beverly says of this, “I’m not complacent, because I’m always pushing to be as good as the best players in the world. I see
it as an opportunity to learn playing with the best, it’s an opportunity not many get.”
Beverly’s desire is for constant improvement because she wants to be the best - but it is mixed with an incredible character that keeps her grounded and
aware that she has an opportunity many don’t get - and so she is making sure that she wrings every ounce out of that opportunity. Not in a greedy and arrogant
way - but in a way that is highlighted by her comment, “I have a lot to learn.” She doesn’t know it all or pretend to. She wants to learn and is grateful
for the opportunity and whilst enjoying every moment of it, she isn’t taking it for granted.
Does all of this come easily? Of course not. For someone with such strong family ties, being away from them is a big challenge. “Home is where my heart
is,” she says, reflecting on all the family back in the USA. And not just that, but whilst commenting on the tough parts of being where she is, Beverly
talks about “...all the sacrifices that were made not just by me, but my friends and family.” For me, this shows again who she is: it’s not just about
her and what she has sacrificed, it’s about her friends and family - and she not only recognises that, but wants other people to know that too.
Beverly demonstrates such an amazing ability not only to continually grow and improve (whilst making sacrifices to do so), she also enjoys every opportunity
in pursuit of her dream. But importantly, it is not at the expense of the here and now. She summed it up perfectly: “I’m chasing a dream, pursuing something
I have wanted my whole life. I’m making sacrifices to grow as a player. The sacrifices make you who you are - when you get to what you strived for, it
makes the sacrifices go away.”
What a beautiful and succinct way to describe her journey - and she can do this because she is at peace with herself and her journey. As a result, she
is enjoying the journey as she balances her ability to self-improve, enjoy the now, plan for the future, be grateful for where she is, and never think
she knows it all. Beverly does all of this with a contagious smile and a character that is completely grounded. It has been a privilege
to get to know her.
We wish her all the very best as she starts the new season with Seattle Reign FC having just signed for them. So the ‘all American girl’ can complete
the circle and go back home having gained such a huge amount from her time in Japan.