A Massachusetts town is celebrating one of their own, who helped the U.S. Women's national soccer team make history Sunday with their first back-to-back World Cup titles — a fourth overall for the team.
Midfielder Samantha Mewis grew up in Hanson and was a star player for Whitman-Hanson High School.
After helping her team defeat the Netherlands 2-0 in Lyon, France, her community and former varsity soccer coach couldn't be prouder.
"'Surreal,' I think, is the first word that comes to mind," said Whitman-Hanson High School coach David Floeck. "There's a perfect example of a kid from a little town of Hanson who's worked so hard and had this dream when she was watching the Mia Hamms and all of them winning their World Cup and saying, 'I want to be there some day,' and then doing what it took to get there."
Floeck said he has been texting with Mewis throughout the competition and let her know that she has become an inspiration to younger players.
"When I came up here yesterday there were three or four young girls with their mom in their Mewis jerseys practicing," Floeck said.
Mewis had 2 goals and 4 assists in the World Cup.
Floeck hopes she comes back to Hanson this fall to visit with his current players.
"I hope she comes back and talks about some of her greatest memories of playing soccer while here and high school," he said.
Mewis’ parents still live in Hanson and traveled to watch her in France. While they were still away Monday, the neighborhood children were busy making signs to congratulate their hometown hero. They said they consider Mewis a role model.
"She shows you that hard work really does pay off," said Hanson soccer player Chloe Lussier.
Town officials in Hanson are hoping to have a local celebration with Mewis in the future, but plans for an event are still in the works.