Le Havre, France — For the player behind the U.S. women's team's first World Cup goal against Sweden on Thursday, the soccer field holds a lifetime of dreams. "This has been a dream of mine since I was a little girl," said midfielder Lindsey Horan.
She was 18 when she set off on an unconventional path, leaving Colorado for Paris to play professionally. As the first female soccer player in the U.S. to skip college and head straight to the pros, she made headlines.
Despite becoming a star, she narrowly missed the Women's World Cup roster in 2015. Disappointed but not defeated, she said her love of the game pushed her even harder.
"There's just been so many difficult times. I always remember that this is the game I fell in love with. I think that's what kept me on this path for so long," Horan said.
That path led her back to the U.S. National Women's Soccer League, where she was named MVP. When Horan scored her first World Cup goal against Thailand, her parents were there with her. Thursday, she showed again how sometimes you have to pave your own path to reach your dreams.