Shannon Boxx, Christie Pearce Rampone, Linda Hamilton headline National Soccer Hall of Fame induction ceremony

USA women's soccer players Shannon Boxx (left) and Christie Rampone pose for a photo.
Imagn/USA Sports Images

This week’s announcement of the U.S. Soccer Federation’s landmark agreement to offer equal pay to the women’s and men’s national soccer teams – including sharing in World Cup prize money – came at the perfect time ahead of the National Soccer Hall of Fame’s Class of 2022 induction ceremony.

Gender equality advocate and tennis legend Billie Jean King was quick to recognize the efforts of the women who helped pioneer this effort, including 2007 Hall of Fame inductees Mia Hamm and Julie Foudy, both of whom also played on the winning 1999 U.S. World Cup team. And this Saturday, they’ll be joined in the Hall by fellow ’99 teammate Christie Pearce Rampone, along with former USWNT members Shannon Boxx and Linda Hamilton, when this year’s inductees are honored in Frisco, Texas.

The women make up of half of this year’s HOF class, which also features players Clint Dempsey and Marco Etcheverry, and referee Esse Baharmast. Former U.S. goalkeeper Hope Solo was voted into the Hall of Fame this year, but her induction will be delayed a year while she participates in an in-patient treatment program following her arrest on a DWI charge in late March.

On-field experience drives Linda Hamilton’s sideline mentality

The journey to the Hall of Fame was decidedly different for each woman, beginning with Linda Hamilton, who was one of two candidates elected from the Veteran ballot (along with Bolivian MLS star Etcheverry). The 52-year-old Hamilton, who’s served as head coach of the Southwestern University women’s soccer team since 2015, played 71 full internationals for the USWNT between 1987 and 1995. She was a key defender on the U.S. team that won the first FIFA Women’s World Cup in 1991 and played in the 1995 World Cup, where the U.S. finished third.

“It means a lot to me as a defender,” said Hamilton, who also was a four-time All-American during her collegiate career. “We don’t always get the statistics that maybe would back up the criteria. It’s easy when you’re the most prolific scorer or you’ve got millions of assists. But as defenders – I do make this joke a lot – there’s not a stat that says how many people I kicked the crap out of. Now, I think if there were that stat, I would definitely be in the top 10.”

Hamilton starred for three seasons at North Carolina State, earning 1988 ACC player-of-the-year honors before transferring to the University of North Carolina to play for then-future U.S. World Cup coach Anson Dorrance as a senior. The Tar Heels captured the 1990 NCAA national title and Hamilton finished her career as a candidate for national player of the year three times.

But being recognized for her contributions to the 1991 U.S. team is particularly meaningful to Hamilton, who noted, “It really is a very empowering, but also a very big honor. I’ve always felt our defense made these contributions, but to have it recognized by people in the environment and by external people to say, ‘Yes, everything you did have great value, and we still remember it,’ I think that’s something that really hits home and makes me really happy.”

Hamilton’s career featured 82 appearances with the USWNT including 12 Women’s World Cup matches. She was a starter in all six matches at the 1991 World Cup where the USWNT allowed just three goals in the tournament and recorded four consecutive shutouts. After a stint in the non-profit world, Hamilton returned to the sidelines as coach, which included stops at Hofstra University (2006), North Florida (2007-13) and Illinois College (2014).

“I guess the biggest lesson is: It’s not about failures,” explained Hamilton, who was named SCAC coach of the year for the third time in 2021 after leading the Pirates to their first regular-season title. “You can’t be afraid to be successful, and you can’t be afraid to fail. You have to have the courage to do that. But the real lesson is, what do you do with the failure, when you have the failure? What’s your next move? Do you give up? Do you quit? Do you hang your head in the middle of a game? Do you react? Or do you just get back at it. And I think if I spent too much time worrying about being perfect, and what I just failed at, I would never be able to come back and have the success that you find after you fail.”

‘Out of the blue’ invite turns into 19-year career for Christie Pearce Rampone

During a decorated 19-year professional career, New Jersey native Christie Pearce Rampone was a mainstay on a USWNT that captured two Women’s World Cup championships (1999, 2015) and three Olympic gold medals (2004, 2008, 2012). But ahead of her Hall of Fame induction this weekend, Pearce remembers that her national team career actually kicked off as a complete surprise.

As a college athlete at Monmouth University, Pearce – known as Christie Rampone for most of her career – was there on a basketball scholarship. She worked out a deal with her coaches to also play on the soccer team during her time there (1993-96), but when Pearce was handed her first invitation to a national team training camp in December 1996 – while on the bus coming back from a disappointing basketball loss – she admits she didn’t understand the significance.

“I had no idea what I was getting into,” said Pearce, who headed to camp in San Diego that January. “I had no idea that they had just come off a gold medal until I got into the meeting room. And that was the first experience I had with the national team, before we even entered the field for practice, was seeing highlights from the ’96 Olympics.

“So, sitting in a meeting room, not knowing anybody, as a basketball player, I was blown away that I was sitting among so many amazing legends. And now I’m going to enter the field with them not knowing anybody’s name, not realizing what I thought was just going to be a bunch of seniors kind of coming together and kind of showcasing themselves and not realizing I was stepping on the field with such legends.”

ALSO FROM ON HER TURF: USWNT to receive equal pay in landmark agreement with U.S. Soccer

She pulled out a camera, taking as many photos with players as she could and thinking she may never get such an opportunity again. Of course, that’s not how things worked out.

Pearce’s career included appearances in five Women’s World Cups and four Olympics, as well as all of the first 11 seasons of women’s professional league soccer in the U.S. (three seasons with the Women’s United Soccer Association, three with Women’s Professional Soccer and five National Women’s Soccer League). She was captain on field for the U.S. teams in the 2008 and 2012 Olympics and the 2011 World Cup, and overall, Pearce appeared in 311 international matches and played 24,011 minutes in a U.S. uniform, second to only Kristine Lilly‘s record of 346 games and 28,874 minutes.

“I truly have embraced that journey,” said Pearce, who became a mom twice over during her career to daughters Reece and Riley. “I think that’s the highlight of my career is the journey: Starting off as a sub, becoming a starter, getting injured, coming back, making camps, not making rosters, you know, making my way back to the starting lineup, having children along the way was just, it was an all-encompassing great journey.”

Shannon Boxx’s better-late-than-never start fuels decorated career

Like former teammate Pearce, Shannon Boxx also was part of three gold medal-winning U.S. Olympic teams and the champion 2015 World Cup squad, but unlike both her fellow Hall of Fame inductees, Boxx’s USWNT career didn’t begin until nearly three years after she began playing professionally.

Boxx was already 26 when she was invited to her first national team training camp in 2003. After a standout career Notre Dame and three seasons in the WUSA where she earned MVP honors in 2003, Boxx was planning for post-player life, preparing to be an assistant coach at Cal State-Dominguez and pursue a master’s degree at Pepperdine.

But all that went out the door when Boxx made the team, going on to make 195 appearances for the USWNT from 2003-2015, ranking 12th all time and the most by a Black woman on the national team. She also became the first American woman to score in each of her first three appearances with the team, giving Boxx a platform she embraced as a biracial woman.

“There were definitely times when I was on the national team that I looked around and I was like, ‘I’m the only person here of color right now, you know, in certain moments on the team,’” she recalls. “For me, it was just the big weight that I was willing to have, but I remember feeling like, okay, when we’re signing autographs, I’m searching for those kids that are of color because I want them to know that they can do this, and I might be the only one right now, but that’s not going to be the way it is in the future.”

Boxx, a two-time postseason Best XI selection, continued her pro league career as well, and she’s one of just three women to play in all three seasons of the WUSA, all three seasons of WPS and the first three seasons of the NWSL. She also became a mother during her pro career, and publicly shared her health battles with Sjogren’s Syndrome and lupus.

Following her retirement, Boxx moved with her family in Portland, Oregon, where she founded an all-girls soccer academy called Bridge City Soccer Academy, dedicated to bringing the game to underserved populations.

“Parents are just so happy that we’re coming into a community that wants to do this,” said Boxx, who also is co-owner of NWSL expansion team Angel City FC in her native state of California. “They want to provide this for their children, but they have no means for it. I think it’s just making things a lot more accessible. And realizing that ‘pay to play’ is not the only means to get somebody to play soccer.”

MORE WOMEN’S SOCCER NEWS: The NWSL’s first ever CBA raises the bar for women’s sports

2023 March Madness: Utah Utes engineer dramatic turnaround for third-ever Sweet Sixteen appearance

Members of the Utah Utes celebrate their win over the Princeton Tigers in the second round of the NCAA Womens Basketball Tournament.
Getty Images

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – The No. 2-seeded Utah (27-4) women’s basketball team held off a pesky 10th-seeded Princeton squad on Sunday, winning 63-56 to advance to the Sweet 16 of the NCAA Women’s Basketball Championships for the first time since 2005-06 and just the third time in the program’s history.

“I’m proud of our team,” said eighth-year head coach Lynne Roberts after the second-round win at Utah’s Hunstman Center. “We set out to do this a year ago. We lost in this game at University of Texas and the goal was to be able to host (this year) so that we could have that home-court advantage and it made a difference.”

Utah’s fourth-year junior Alissa Pili backed up her recent second-team All-American honor with another 20-plus-point performance, scoring 28 on 8-for 13 shooting with 10 rebounds and going 11-for 13 on free throws. Sophomore forward Jenna Johnson added 15 points and six rebounds.

There’s been a lot of talk this weekend about how the Utes’ previous few seasons have ended – beginning with a rough 14-17 season that was cut short in 2020 due to the pandemic, followed by an abysmal 5-16 record in 2020-21. But the tide turned last year, as Utah rebounded with a 21-12 season that ended with a 78-56 loss to Texas in Austin in the second round of the NCAA tournament one year ago.

So, what changed?

“Last year, everyone was new to the NCAA tournament, so I think everyone was just experiencing it for the first time,” mused Johnson. “Losing in the second round last year, we’re definitely a lot hungrier this year, and then obviously hosting in Salt Lake, it’s fun just being in your own environment, to be around your own fans. I think it gives us an elevated level of confidence, both knowing what it’s like it play in this tournament and also getting to be at home.”

“Yeah, freshman year was kind of rough,” added third-year sophomore Kennady McQueen, who chipped in nine points Sunday. “We did experience losing a lot. … Coach Roberts, she said we are not going to have another season like that. We all stood behind her — the people that stayed — and brought in great people like starting last year with Jenna and Gi (Gianna Kneepkens) and people like that who have had a huge impact in helping us to where we are today. …

“When you get together a group of people that have the same goal in mind and will do make anything to make it happen, I think that’s where we have seen our success rate going up. This past offseason, we just kept getting better, and of course, the addition of the Alissa Pili really helped. When you bring a group of girls that have the same dream and same goal at the end of the year and doesn’t care about personal stats more than winning, I think we get the season that we have today, and it prepares us for deep run in March.”

In particular, McQueen believe it was Utah’s improvement in their defense that was crucial to the turnaround. “Everyone knows how good we are on offense, but if we can’t get stops, it doesn’t matter how good you are on offense,” she said. “So that’s just been a key the whole past off-season and all of this season — just getting better on defense.”

MORE FROM ON HER TURF: Alissa Pili revives her love of basketball with record season at Utah

Roberts credits their defensive improvement with a “philosophical mindset change,” explaining, “We worked on [defense] a lot differently, a lot more intentionally. Strategically we made some changes of how we are going to defend, and I won’t bore you with that. But there was a lot, just different things because you have to play to your strengths. You can’t be a run-and-jump pressing team if you don’t have the depth and athletes to do it. You can’t be a zone team if you are not super big. You have to figure out what fits your personnel, and so that’s what we did.”

There’s also the undeniable impact of Pili, a transfer from USC who has found her stride as a Ute, where she recently was named the Pac-12 Player of the Year.

“She kind of is the straw that stirs the drink for us right now,” said Roberts of the 21-year-old Alaska native. “She’s a nightmare to defend because she can shoot the three, and she’s also really athletic and mobile, so it doesn’t matter who we are playing. I think you have to gameplan for her. But then with her three-point shooting, you know, you have to pick your poison.”

But Roberts also gave plenty of kudos to Johnson, whom she describes as “phenomenal.”

“She’s 19 going on 40,” Roberts said of Johnson. “She’s the most mature, even-keeled consistent player we have. What I love about her is she is who she is. She’s confident in who she is. She knows who she is. She also is incredibly busy off the court.

“We were talking as we were getting ready to watch film, just shooting the breeze a bunch of us, we were talking about movies. And she was like, Oh, I don’t watch movies. Why not? I don’t have time. I get bored. What do you mean you don’t have time? Do you watch shows? No, I don’t ever watch TV. It is because she is doing all of these other extracurricular activities.”

As for guiding to the Utes to becoming a championship program, Roberts still sees it as an uphill battle – but one that she and her players are ready for.

“I always use the analogy of pushing the boulder up the hill,” she said. “And doing things for the first time, you have to have that mindset. You have to keep pushing. It’s been incredibly fun to see the support, and I think the swell is a perfect word for it. Most importantly, our players feel it.

“This is why you play, right? And it means so much. I know I say it over and over, but this is not going to be a flash-in-the-pan [season]. This isn’t going to be a ‘Oh, remember that year they had such an incredible year?’ We are going to keep doing it.”

RELATED: 2023 March Madness 2023 — Updated bracket, scores and schedule for NCAA Women’s Basketball Championship

2023 March Madness: Updated bracket, scores and schedule for NCAA Women’s Basketball Championship


Editor’s note: We’ll keep this page updated, so be sure to check back here for winners, scores and next-round details as the tournament progresses.

The bracket for 2023 NCAA Women’s Basketball Championship is officially set and defending champion South Carolina earned the No. 1 overall seed for the second straight season. A total of 68 teams will see tournament action, beginning with the “First Four” games on Wednesday and Thursday, followed by Round 1 play kicking off on Friday.

On Her Turf has compiled the matchups, sites and schedule for the tournament, which culminates Sunday, April 2 with the title game from American Airlines Center in Dallas.

2023 tournament No. 1 seeds:

  • South Carolina Gamecocks
  • Indiana Hoosiers
  • Virginia Tech Hokies
  • Stanford Cardinal

Last four teams in the tournament:

  • Illinois
  • Mississippi State
  • Purdue
  • St. John’s

First four teams out of the tournament:

  • Columbia
  • Kansas
  • UMass
  • Oregon

RELATED: South Carolina nabs No. 1 overall seed in NCAA women’s basketball tournament

‘First Four’ game schedule

Wednesday, March 15

  • 7 p.m. ET: 11. Illinois vs. 11. Mississippi State (South Bend, Indiana)
    • Winner: Mississippi State, 70-56
  • 9 p.m. ET: 16 Southern U vs. 16 Sacred Heart (Stanford, California)
    • Winner: Sacred Heart, 57-47

Thursday, March 16

  • 7 p.m. ET: 11 Purdue vs. 11 St. John’s (Columbus, Ohio)
    • Winner: St. John’s, 66-64
  • 9 p.m. ET: 16 Tennessee Tech vs. 16 Monmouth (Greenville, S.C.)
    • Winner: Tennessee Tech, 79-69

Bracket, schedule* by region 

*Includes scores, game time and TV network, if available


Columbia, S.C.

  • Round 1 — Friday, March 17:
    • 1. South Carolina 72, 16. Norfolk State 40
    • 8. South Florida 67, 9. Marquette 65
  • Round 2 — Sunday, March 19:
    • 1. South Carolina 76, 8. South Florida, 45

Los Angeles, California

  • Round 1 — Saturday, March 18:
    • 5. Oklahoma 85, 12. Portland 63
    • 4. UCLA 67, 13. Sacramento State 45
  • Round 2 — Monday, March 20:
    • 4. UCLA vs. 5. Oklahoma, 10 p.m. ET (ESPN2)

South Bend, Indiana

  • Round 1 — Friday, March 17:
    • 6. Creighton 66, 11. Mississippi State 81 (First Four winner)
    • 3. Notre Dame 82, 14. Southern Utah 56
  • Round 2 — Sunday, March 19:
    • 3. Notre Dame 53, 11. Mississippi State 48

College Park, Maryland

  • Round 1 — Friday, March 17:
    • 7. Arizona 75, 10. West Virginia 62
    • 2. Maryland 93, 15. Holy Cross 61
  • Round 2 — Sunday, March 19:
    • 2. Maryland 77, 7. Arizona 64


Bloomington, Indiana

  • Round 1 — Saturday, March 18:
    • 1. Indiana 77, 16. Tennessee Tech 47 (First Four winner)
    • 8. Oklahoma State 61, 9. Miami 62 (FL)
  • Round 2 — Monday, March 20:
    • 1. Indiana vs. 9. Miami, 8 p.m. ET (ESPN2)

Villanova, Pennsylvania

  • Round 1 — Saturday, March 18:
    • 5. Washington State 63, 12. FGCU 74
    • 4. Villanova 76, 13. Cleveland State 59
  • Round 2 — Monday, March 20:
    • 12. FGCU vs. 4. Villanova, 7 p.m. ET (ESPNU)

Baton Rouge, Louisiana

  • Round 1 — Friday, March 17:
    • 6. Michigan 71, 11. UNLV 59
    • 3. LSU 73, 14. Hawaii 50
  • Round 2 — Sunday, March 19:
    • 6. Michigan vs. 3. LSU, 7:30 p.m. ET (ESPN)

Salt Lake City, Utah

  • Round 1 — Friday, March 17:
    • 7. N.C. State 63, 10. Princeton 64
    • 2. Utah 103, 15. Gardner-Webb 77
  • Round 2 — Sunday, March 19:
    • 2. Utah vs. 10. Princeton, 7 p.m. ET (ESPN2)


 Blacksburg, Virginia

  • Round 1 — Friday, March 17:
    • 1. Virginia Tech 58, 16. Chattanooga 33
    • 8. Southern California 57, 9. South Dakota State 62
  • Round 2 — Sunday, March 19:
    • 1. Virginia Tech 72, South Dakota State, 60

Knoxville, Tennessee

  • Round 1 — Saturday, March 18:
    • 5. Iowa State 73, 12. Toledo 80
    • 4. Tennessee 95, 13. Saint Louis 50
  • Round 2 — Monday, March 20:
    • 12. Toledo vs. 4. Tennessee, 6 p.m. (ESPN2)

Columbus, Ohio

  • Round 1 — Saturday, March 18:
    • 6. North Carolina 61, 11. St. John’s  59 (First Four winner)
    • 3. Ohio State 80, 14. James Madison 66
  • Round 2 — Monday, March 20:
    • 3. Ohio State vs. 6. North Carolina, 4 p.m. ET (ESPN)

Storrs, Connecticut

  • Round 1 — Saturday, March 18:
    • 7. Baylor 78, 10. Alabama 74
    • 2. UConn 95, 15. Vermont 52
  • Round 2 — Monday, March 20:
    • 2. UConn vs. 7. Baylor, 9 p.m. ET (ESPN)


Stanford, California

  • Round 1 — Friday, March 17:
    • 1. Stanford 92, 16. Sacred Heart 49 (First Four winner)
    • 8. Ole Miss 71, 9. Gonzaga 48
  • Round 2 — Sunday, March 19:
    • 1. Stanford vs. 8. Ole Miss, 9:30 p.m. ET (ESPN)

Austin, Texas 

  • Round 1 — Saturday, March 18:
    • 5. Louisville 83, 12. Drake 81
    • 4. Texas 79, 13. East Carolina 40
  • Round 2 — Monday, March 20:
    • 4. Texas vs. 5. Louisville, 7 p.m. ET (ESPN)

Durham, N.C. 

  • Round 1 — Saturday, March 18:
    • 6. Colorado 82, 11. Middle Tennessee State 60
    • 3. Duke 89, 14. Iona 49
  • Round 2 — Monday, March 20:
    • 3. Duke vs. Colorado, 9 p.m. ET (ESPNU)

Iowa City, Iowa 

  • Round 1 — Friday, March 17:
    • 7. Florida State 54, 10. Georgia 66
    • 2. Iowa 95, 15. Southeastern Louisiana 43
  • Round 2 — Sunday, March 19:
    • 2. Iowa 74, 10. Georgia 66

Regionals/Final Four schedule, how to watch

Sweet 16: Friday and Saturday, March 24-25; Bon Secours Wellness Arena, Greenville, S.C., host: Southern Conference and Furman; and Climate Pledge Arena, Seattle, hosts: Seattle and Seattle Sports Commission

Elite 8: Sunday and Monday, March 26-27; Bon Secours Wellness Arena, Greenville, S.C., host: Southern Conference and Furman; and Climate Pledge Arena, Seattle, hosts: Seattle and Seattle Sports Commission

Final 4: Friday, March 31, 7 p.m. ET and 9:30 p.m. ET (ESPN); American Airlines Center, Dallas; hosts: Big 12 Conference and Dallas Sports Commission

Championship Game: Sunday, April 2, 3 p.m. ET (ABC); American Airlines Center, Dallas; hosts: Big 12 Conference and Dallas Sports Commission

MORE FROM ON HER TURF: 2023 March Madness — All about the 32 automatic qualifiers