Former U.S. Women’s National Team Captain Lori Chalupny Joins All Girls Fire & Ice Soccer Academy
Lori Chalupny and club director Lindsay Kennedy-Eversmeyer team up and make history as the only female-led, all-girls club in St. Louis that includes a pathway from the youth levels to professional levels across the world.
Former U.S. Women’s National Team member, World Cup Champion, Olympic Gold Medalist, St. Louis Soccer Hall of Fame inductee, U.S. Soccer Hall of Fame Nominee, and current Maryville University Head Coach Lori Chalupny-Lawson has joined the newly formed all-girls soccer club, Fire & Ice Soccer Academy, as the Assistant Club Director.
Chalupny-Lawson retired from the game as a player in 2016 after winning a FIFA World Cup Gold Medal and finished with 106 caps and ten goals scored with the USWNT.
She won a gold medal at the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games, and also played as a midfielder and Captained the Chicago Red Stars of the NWSL, the team she had joined during its amateur days in the 2012 edition of the Women’s Premier Soccer League Elite.
Chalupny retired from professional club soccer six weeks after playing her final match for the U.S. Women’s National Team and five months after winning her first and only FIFA Women’s World Cup.
In 2018, Lori was inducted into the St. Louis Soccer Hall of Fame.
Before her professional career took off, Chalupny-Lawson enjoyed a standout college career at the University of North Carolina (UNC), completing her eligibility in 2006.
For UNC’s Tar Heels, she was a three-time All-American and helped the team win the 2003 National Championship. A three-time All-Atlantic Coast Conference selection, she scored 30 goals and had 32 assists during her career with the Tar Heels.
UNC Head Coach Anson Dorrance fondly remembers his collegiate player who made such an impact on the field.
“Lori Chalupny is one of the five greatest players in UNC Women’s Soccer history,” said Dorrance.
“What set her apart was how complete her game was: she was a brilliant attacking personality, a relentless defender and a consummate playmaker,” said Dorrance. ” The other thing that just completely put her in a category by herself was she never had a bad game. She lived in that incredibly thin air between absolutely brilliant and extraordinary.”
Dorrance is a 22 Time Collegiate National Champion at UNC and was the coach for the U.S. Women’s National Team when they won the 1991 FIFA World Cup.
“And on a more personal level, we loved her as a staff,” added Dorrance. “She was humble and quiet; and despite her wonderful level, she was coachable and grateful.”
“She was the sort of person every one of us wanted our daughters to be. She is going to be a huge asset to the Fire & Ice Soccer Academy.”
A native of St Louis, Lori has teamed up with Fire & Ice club Director Lindsay Kennedy-Eversmeyer who is the only female to play men’s professional soccer for the St. Louis Steamers and in the Major Indoor Soccer League.
“I am very honored and excited to have Lori as my Assistant Club Director in the new academy,” said Kennedy-Eversmeyer. “We are both very passionate about bringing awareness to the women’s game and empowering young women to fight through adversity to reach their goals.”
Kennedy-Eversmeyer and Chalupny aim to create a unique experience for their club members at Fire and Ice Academy.
Kicked off in 2013, Kennedy-Eversmeyer founded Fire & Ice and competes in the Women’s Premier Soccer League (WPSL).
The WPSL is the world’s largest women’s soccer league. Kennedy-Eversmeyer has coached the team to a National Championship in 2017 as well as 3 Conference Championships, 2 Central Region Championships, and 2 Final Four Appearances.
In the past 6 years, Fire & Ice has also had 7 players advance to play professional soccer in either the NWSL or abroad in professional leagues in Sweden and Australia. S
Kennedy-Eversmeyer has also received the WPSL Central Region Coach of the Year award and the team’s overall record with the WPSL team is 50-13-8.
Why an All Girls Academy?
With all of the WPSL team’s success, it only felt right to Kennedy-Eversmeyer that the next step would be to expanding to include an all-girls youth academy.
“A lot of youth soccer clubs in our area are focused on the boy’s side of the program, and I feel the girls get pushed to the side, often leaving them discouraged,” said Kennedy-Eversmeyer. “Also, most programs just focus on developing soccer players. This all-girls club will provide a place for girls to feel cared for and empowered. We will also help to develop our players as people, by including a leadership and team building component, something our youth are really needing nowadays.
The motto for the youth academy is to “Guide and Empower Young Women Through Soccer.”
All Girls Fire & Ice Soccer Academy (FISA) will focus not only on soccer, but also on developing young girls into successful women.
To help achieve this, FISA wants as many strong-minded female leaders as possible. To help the academy’s young players grow into confident women, the club will provide Team Building & Leadership Sessions with Molly Grisham who is recognized as a courageous communicator. Grisham’s programs are designed to inspire and set people in motion.
As the Assistant Club Director, Chalupny-Lawson will help guide FISA’s programming. Next fall, high school age soccer players will be trained by Chalupny-Lawson in a special session, while the younger age groups will get their time with her in the spring.
The mission statement for the FISA reflects the vision of Kennedy-Eversmeyer and Chalupny:
“To guide and empower young women through soccer. Inspiring our athletes to have the confidence and strength they need to challenge assumptions, break barriers, and achieve their goals, both on and off the field. WE ARE FISA!”
You can follow the success of Fire & Ice on Facebook.