Sarina Bolden is not just excited on what possibilities there are for the Philippines moving forward following a ride of a lifetime in the Fifa (International Federation of Association Football) Women’s World Cup.
She also wants the chance to lay low for a bit.
“Great question,” Bolden said when a foreign journalist asked how she’ll relax and prepare for the next journey after the Filipinas saw their run in women’s football’s ultimate showcase come to an end with a 6-0 loss to Norway on Sunday at Eden Park here.
It will be a well-deserved rest for the striker, whose name will be forever etched in this edition of the quadrennial tournament following a magical moment exactly a week ago on Tuesday that had the entire Philippines witnessing history.
“It’s been a long journey so far,” said Bolden, whose goal against New Zealand gave the Philippines its landmark 1-0 victory despite being World Cup debutants, never given a chance to perform well.
The World Cup is the highest point a footballer can reach, which Bolden and the Filipinas did. She started her journey five years ago in the Asian Football Confederation Women’s Asian Cup, which at the time was the biggest mountain scaled by any Philippine women’s football side.
There were bigger mountains scaled in the succeeding years, capped off with her stint here where Bolden—after all is said and done, will be remembered as the one who left and indelible mark on why cohost New Zealand was also ousted in group play.
“I don’t know if I’ll ever imagine being here and being in the World Cup and making it this far, winning a game, to score in that winning game,” she said. “I don’t think I expected all of that. And I’m just happy that I trusted in the [team] process.”
Though she would want to cool her heels a bit, Bolden made it known that she is willing to go through that painstaking process again to take the Philippine back to the World Cup in four years’ time.
Where dream started
“I’m gonna continue to stay with this team, no matter what, until my legs stop working,” Bolden continued. “I’m in it for the long run and this is just the beginning for me.”
Bolden was born to an American father and a Filipino mother 27 years ago in California. It was there where the World Cup dream began for Bolden, who eventually got an invite to train with the United States’ women’s U-23 squad.
She got the call to don the Philippine shirt, not only fulfilling her childhood dreams after going through heartbreaks and triumphs, but also discovering her Filipino heritage through the beautiful game.
Sunday’s dream of advancing to the last 16 ended with that shattering loss to the Norwegians before thousands of Filipinos who turned the sporting ground known for its rich rugby and cricket history into a bigger version of Rizal Memorial Stadium or an outdoor Araneta Coliseum.
The loss was stinging, but Bolden and Co. can only be grateful at how fellow Filipinos, regardless of where they came from, regardless of how half or full their bloods are, kept the vigil and will keep the belief that more magical moments may come.
“We do this for you, guys,” Bolden later told Manila-based scribes. “We know so many people have come out just to watch us. It’s freezing right now, but we appreciate every single person that showed up for us, and was yelling and screaming and was walking on the streets, chanting and stuff.
“It’s just amazing to see. And for me, personally as a little girl, I dreamed of being in the World Cup,” she went on. “Just to see supporters come out, for us, it’s just amazing.” INQ
Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.
For feedback, complaints, or inquiries, contact us.