For the love of the game
Posted: 7/2/2014
Yasmin Mossadegi

By:  www.ocregister.com

 

See the article here:  Orange County Register

YMossadeghiLauren Schoenherr packed four bags and left for Chemnitz, Germany, to play professional volleyball for nine months.

It was 2005. A few months earlier, Schoenherr – formerly Lauren Goins – had graduated from Cal State Fullerton as the only Titan to amass 1,000 kills and 1,000 digs.

Arriving in Germany, street signs looked like symbols. Songs on the radio sounded like muffled noise. Volleyball was the only language she knew.

The outside hitter was excited to play overseas, even if Germans laughed at the flip flops she wore throughout the rough, cobblestoned city.

“Like every kid I had always kind of idolized people like Mia Hamm or Michael Jordan,” Schoenherr said. “I was like, ‘Wow they get to play sports for a living?’ That’s something I wanted to do, but didn’t even fathom that was an option for me.”

Many young women don’t view professional sports as a viable option because few opportunities exist in the United States, despite the boom in amateur participation rates.

“At the youth, high school and the collegiate level, women’s sports are just exploding,” said Jaime Schultz, an assistant professor at Penn State University specializing in gender and sport. “It just strikes me as so sad that we can’t sort of transition that participatory experience into being consumers of women’s sport.”

There is no indoor professional volleyball league. Though basketball, soccer and softball have pro leagues, there are few spots: 12 basketball teams, nine soccer teams and four softball teams.

And because league salaries are meager, U.S. pro players play overseas in the offseason to generate income.

Many former Cal State Fullerton female athletes like Schoenherr have thrived abroad.

The most famous Titan abroad is Karen Bardsley, who is currently a goalkeeper for Manchester City Women in England. She competed at CSUF from 2002 to 2006.

Softball All-Americans Yasmin Mossadeghi (1999-02) and Gina Oaks (2000-03) have played in five countries combined. And at the moment, Ann Marie Tangorra (2011-12) is playing soccer in Switzerland and Leah Best (2011-13) is playing volleyball in Sweden.

These women know that pro ball doesn’t last forever and it doesn’t always pay the bills, but with a plane ticket, passport and good knees, why not chase that dream around the word?
Expectations overseas

It’s easy to spot them down the street in other countries.

“Mostly everyone looks at us different because we are American,” said Tangorra, 23.

SWC News Room Graphic
Recent Posts
A record 816 students are set to participate in Southwestern College’s largest commencement ceremony ever on Friday, May 27, at 4 p.m., in the newly renovated DeVore Stadium at the Chula Vista Campus.... READ MORE
The number of Southwestern College graduates earning an Associate Degree for Transfer, which guarantees admission to the California State University system, increased 138% from 2013-14 to 2014-15, making it one of the greatest increases in the state, according to a new report by the Campaign for College Opportunity.... READ MORE
Soon you will be able to tour the Southwestern College campus from anywhere in the world. We’re not talking about a basic 360 degree panorama, a fully immersive virtual reality experience will give anyone with a smartphone the ability to wander the sidewalks of Southwestern College and witness what the students see every day as they head to class.... READ MORE
Thousands. The number of laps that have been swum in the pools. The number of miles ran on the treadmills. The number of reps lifted in the weight room. The number of students who have been educated. The number of the building... READ MORE
The Southwestern Community College Police Department is now offering Live Scan fingerprinting services to the general public, much to the relief of a growing number of South County job applicants with limited opportunities to access the technology needed for a security clearance.... READ MORE
A free open house at the Crown Cove Aquatic Center will allow participants to get out on the water in sailboats, SUPs, Outrigger Canoes and kayaks, plus be eligible for a free life jacket as the Center kicks off National Safe Boating Week.... READ MORE
A national shortage in qualified emergency medical transportation specialists has prompted Southwestern College to institute a new program to help paramedics and nurses excel in caring for patients being transferred between care facilities. ... READ MORE
It’s the quintessential next step—after high school, you go to college. At least that is what more than 600 Sweetwater Union High School District students thought on Tuesday as they stepped off the yellow school bus on to the Chula Vista Campus of Southwestern College.... READ MORE
Many Southwestern College students have vivid memories of the Mexican drug violence in the region, and its impact was evident recently when Director Charles Minn screened one of his films, “¿Es el Chapo?” ... READ MORE
Student volunteers are gaining professional experience by helping out fellow students and community members with a free tax assistance program at Southwestern College.... READ MORE