Rose Lavelle: 'I don't ever want to let fear dictate how I play'

Two months ago Washington Spirit midfielder Rose Lavelle scored the game-sealing goal in the 2019 FIFA World Cup Final for the United States Women's National Team.

Tuesday she sat down with 106.7 The Fan for a one-on-one interview ahead of the Spirit's game against Reign FC Saturday at Audi Field.

Lavelle says while she thinks about that goal "a decent amount... I've settled back into D.C. life. I've settled back into NWSL life. That's what I'm focused on right now."

NWSL life hasn't been smooth sailing for Lavelle. Her career started after being the No. 1 pick in the 2017 NWSL draft to the Boston Breakers, a team that disbanded after that season. She was again the No. 1 pick in the player redistribution draft to send the Boston players to new teams. She was selected by Washington.

The transition to the Spirit was made easier by the presence of two of her best friends from the national team program: Andi Sullivan and Mallory Pugh.

"It's been so fun," Lavelle says of living and working with Sullivan and Pugh. "It's been fun building a relationship on the field. We get each other so well and I feel that how we are with each other off the field really helps that. It's been so fun. I love them."

For those hoping for a comedic, almost sitcom-like dynamic to the trio living together, prepare for disappointment. Lavelle claims they've found some sort of elusive roommate bliss.

"It's really so neutral," Lavelle says, laughing when asked who is the messiest of the three. "Everyone is the equal amount of messy, but everyone does their share…(Sullivan) cooks for me. But I do the dishes, so it works."

While the trio has shared plenty of food and household responsibilities, they haven't shared the field nearly as much as they would like. Lavelle has battled hamstring injuries for much of her career and has also been recovering from a concussion. Between the injuries and national team duties, she's played in just four games this season.

"I feel like I don't think about it when I'm playing," she said when asked about the mental hurdles athletes often have to overcome coming back from injury. "I never want fear to dictate how I play. So even when I do have a recent injury in the back of my head, I go out with that in the back of my head, but also knowing I can't let it hold me back or stop how I'm playing, because I feel like that's when you're gonna get hurt, is when you're not playing like your natural self."

Be sure to watch the full interview for more on how Lavelle developed as a young player and why she feels fortunate to be able to give back in the same way her role models did.

The Spirit are expecting another sellout crowd at Audi Field Saturday. While Lavelle's return is still not 100 percent certain, Pugh is expected to return for the Spirit after missing the team's last game at Audi Field with a hip injury. Kickoff against Megan Rapinoe and Reign FC is at 7:30.