Sonia’s Norway Player Fundraising Page


Dear Family, Friends, Colleagues, Teammates, Neighbors and New Fans: We would LOVE your support in our effort to increase awareness of senior women athletes and of the United Nations Global Goals of gender equality (Goal 5), inclusion (Goal 10), and health and wellness (Goal 3). Fundraising will offset player trip costs and can also be designated to help with the beautiful photography and marketing needed for worldwide media coverage. We are offering a thank you gift with each $20 or larger fundraising contribution–such as a photo print of our squad on the *most awesome field* or another customized souvenir. We thank you in advance for following and sharing our story on social media! -The San Diego Soccer Women Global Goals Team in Norway 2018


Sonia Gahlhoff Player Profile

Player profile for the Norway 2018 Global Goals Senior Women's Soccer Trip
Sonia Gahlhoff
Your age as of July 22, 201855
Where did you grow up (city/state/country, ages 5-18)?Tacoma WA USA
At what age did you FIRST start playing soccer?10
Briefly describe your soccer experience as a child (types of leagues, how often you played)I played in recreational leagues, there were no others for girls in the 70's in my area. We moved to Sacramento when I was in HS, I helped start the girls soccer program in 1979 and was captain for 2 years. After HS I played in some rec/coed leagues. I did not play soccer in college, I ran track and cross country for American River Community College then transferred to the University of Washington in Seattle in 1983. At the UW women's soccer was a club team and I needed to work, I was putting myself through school. I head a roommate on the team and my boyfriend through HS played soccer for the schools we went to a received scholarship money.
Did you play soccer in college? If no, enter "no." If yes, enter the name of the
Did you stop playing soccer at a particular age? Briefly explain.I stopped playing when I was pregnant but got back on the field as soon as I was cleared by my Dr. I remember nursing my kids in between games at my tournaments. I have also stopped playing during injuries, ACL 2004, burst hip bursa 2012, hamstring pull 2015, dislocated finger 2018....ACL kept me out the longest at 18 months.
At what age did you FIRST start playing ADULT soccer?18
Briefly describe your adult soccer experience.I have played in coed and women's teams since leaving HS. I played indoor(arena ) soccer from 1990-2015 on various teams as well. some of this was in Seattle but most was in Lancaster/Palmdale and San Diego/Poway.
How did you hear about a women's soccer league in your area? What made you decide to play women's soccer?I called the indoor soccer parks when I moved to see who needed players. Once I was on a team I could ask women what other teams needed players for both indoor and out. In Seattle I played intramurals and then joined rec teams with friends.
What are the names of the leagues you play in and how often do you play each week in those leagues?I play in the women's over 40 leagues year round. I try to play once a week but sometimes leagues over lap and it is twice a week.
Do you participate in tournaments? If yes, which ones and how often? If not, explain why.I did not participate in tournaments this year, but have done so in the past, before ACL surgery we budgeted both time and money around my tournaments:)
What is your most memorable moment as a woman soccer player?Winning one of the Las Vegas tournaments in 2002.
Besides being a player, how have you been involved in youth and/or adult soccer, either personally or professionally? Examples include coaching, referee work and organizing or managing a league.I have coached both my daughter's and son's rec teams. I was coordinator for the boys organizing 13+ teams. When my children started club soccer I became team manager, sometimes with my husband but most by myself. I also coached HS girls varsity soccer for two years before having kids. Before kids I participated in trainings offered by the AAU for women's soccer coaches but could not afford to pay to obtain the national "D" license at the time (completed 2 full weekends of training in Oxnard). I was certified by AYSO and obtained the "E" national license in SD.
If you have a child/children, did/do s/he/they play soccer?Yes, both my son and daughter played soccer, my daughter started at 5, son at 4. Both wer/are college athletes, our son is playing for Seattle Pacific Univ. and our daughter played Field hockey for UC Davis for 4+ years. She was recruited to play soccer in college by Carnegie Mellon, Eastern New Mexico and Univ. of Arkansas in Littlerock as well as FH for Univ of St. Louis and Davis.
If you have a partner, did/does s/he play adult soccer?he tried 🙂
How has playing adult soccer changed your life, whether on a small scale or in a more powerful way?It has been a healthy outlet for me my whole life. I often say it is because of soccer that I never hit my kids.... my husband I made a decision not to do so but soccer has kept me sane. It also allowed me to step back and let my kids have fun with soccer, I did not have to "live through them" since I could and still play. Soccer has given me many, many friends and made me a part of a larger community of like minded women who draw strength and humor from each other as we age.
Think about the community of women in soccer. How have the women you've met affected your life? Have you made long-term friends? Met your partner? Celebrated together? Lost teammates over time?I have lost very few teammates, but injuries and age bring their own toll. One of my favorite memories is holding season tickets for the SD Spirit, watching games with our family were treasured times.
Did you have female athlete role models in your life as a young person? If not, did you have male athlete role models? Who were those people, whether specific to you or famous for their sports?My grandmother played women's basketball in the 30's and has inspired me throughout my life. Through her I learned about Babe Didrikson, who was also Norwegian like my grandmother. I read her biographies and then other female athlete biographies. I also hold Julie Foudy in highest regard for her work in women's soccer and sport in general as well as Brandi Chastain who helped me up after I had slipped on a slope as others walked past. She is an awesome competitor who has not forgotten to be a kind human, a true hero!
Did you have any challenges gaining access to soccer (or sports in general) at any point in your life because of being female? For any other reason?I remember my PE teacher in middle school telling us Title 9 had just passed and it would change our lives. She was right, I got to ride the first crest of the Title 9 wave and count my blessings.
Did you have any women in your life who played recreational soccer? If yes, who?No, I helped start women's teams with friends but I was usually the "expert".
When thinking about the Global Goals listed above, which one means the most to you and why?Health and well being mean the most to me as I age. Earlier in my playing career it was reduced inequality/gender equality.
What are example of ways that you make an effort to support any/all of these Global Goals in your everyday life, whether personally or professionally?I am a HS teacher and make sure to support all the girls teams at my school by giving money, donating equipment and watching their games.
What are you most excited about for this trip?I get to play soccer in Norway!!!!! I'm of Norwegian heritage but have never been to visit, this is a trip I never dreamed I could have!
What are you most concerned about for this trip?Packing right? Possible injury that could reduce playing time....I'm really too excited to worry about anything!

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