On Sunday, the U.S. Women’s soccer team won the World Cup after beating the Netherland’s in a 2-0 victory.
They secured the victory after Megan Rapinoe, the U.S. captain who was awarded the Golden Ball (top player) and Golden Boot (top scorer), scored the first point in the second half, and then Rose Lavelle scored another.
Among the 11 starters for the United States was Tobin Heath, a midfielder that has been on the national team since 2008, two-time Olympic gold medalist and a two-time FIFA Women’s World Cup.
Heath took to Instagram following the win, crediting all the glory to God.
“All glory to God,” Heath wrote.
The World Cup win marked Heaths third World Cup, winning against Japan in 2015, and losing to Japan in 2011.
Despite the highs and lows of her career, Heath has not wavered in her faith in Jesus Christ.
“I was fortunate enough to grow up in a Christian home and an awesome family,” she told Beliefnet. “Our family was just really passionate about Jesus. I had a great experience growing up.”
“Like many kids, I wanted to do my own thing so it wasn’t until around the end of high school and start of college that I started to develop my own faith,” she shared. “I stopped piggybacking off of my family’s (faith) and wanted to figure out what it was all about. I got super interested in things and obviously, from there it’s just grown.”
She added: “Like anyone who has a relationship (with Jesus) knows, the coolest thing about it is that it’s infinite how much you can learn and begin to understand. It’s something that grabbed me.”
Heath added that using her platform to bring glory to God is why soccer is such a blessing to her.
“It’s about Him being known and not in a way that forces it upon other people but in a way that lets people know how He’s transformed my life and how He’s given me purpose and meaning and love and satisfaction,” she told Beliefnet. “That’s the message of Jesus. It’s not a platform to impose on people. It’s a platform to love people. Our God’s going to be victorious. He’s the Creator of the universe. I’m just a vessel trying to do my part with what I’ve been given.”
Julie Ertz, a midfielder and defender for the national team, also shared a photo to Instagram, giving all the glory to God.
“All glory to God,” she wrote.
In 2015, at the young age of 23, Ertz represented the United States in the FIFA Women’s’ World Cup, playing as the second-youngest player on the team.
In 2015, she helped her team win the World Cup in a 5-2 victory over Japan, and then again this past weekend against the Netherlands.
In an interview with Sports Spectrum last year, Ertz shared the most impactful part of her life: her relationship with Jesus Christ.
“I continue to work on all things, and that goes for my relationship with Christ as well,” Ertz said. “[My faith] gives me a bigger perspective on life and my career.”
Ertz shared with the magazine that she is highly involved with the women’s teams Bible study group, as well as always participating in the pregame prayers.
“I want to stay true to who I am and my beliefs,” she said. “These Bible studies really help me grow and keep me accountable. It brings me closer to my teammates; we continue to grow as players and persons.”
Ertz, like Heath, explained that she grew up in a Christian home, but it wasn’t until she went to college at Santa Clara that she found a personal relationship with Jesus.
“That’s when my faith really took off,” she shared.
“Now I’m playing soccer for a bigger purpose. I feel like I was putting a lot of my identity in my sport, but now that I have a greater perspective, I enjoy it so much more,” Ertz added.