The following is part of a weekly series in which writer Todd Civin presents the lighter side of the Boston Breakers of the WPS.
The league prides itself in the down-to-earth nature and approachability of its athletes, and Civin believes that "Getting Silly with the Breakers" is an fun-filled way to create a comfortable bond between the fans and the professional athletes who are the Boston Breakers.
A special thanks to Erica Hunt, the communications director for the team, as well as the players themselves for making this approach possible.
On the field, Boston Breakers' defender extraordinaire, Amy Lepeilbet (pronounced Lee-pell-bet) is all business, as she takes on the top offensive stars of the Women's Professional Soccer League. The reigning Secretary of Defense spent much of the first season of WPS play successfully disrupting the offensive game of the league's top players.
Her stalwart defensive efforts made the Breakers the third stingiest defense in the league and led to her being named the MedImmune Defender of the Year. Her shut-down defense also earned the respect of her peers as she gained the most All-star votes as selected by the players.
Lepeilbet proved that she was indeed worthy of the number four pick in the draft last season by the Breakers, who believe that a strong back line is the key to success and a necessary ingredient towards winning a championship.
Lepeilbet also proved that she is indeed all the way back from an ACL injury that cost her all of the 2007 season and a trip to the 2008 Olympics. She worked herself back into shape playing for the 2008 Pali Blues and certainly caught the eye of the WPS by draft day.
Her 1,710 minutes played last season were second on the team to the amazing Kristine Lilly.
Off the field, the pride of Crystal Lake, IL, is a slight bit less "defensive" and although it was once said that her picture is next to the word "quiet" in the dictionary, she was ready, willing and able to spend some time, as this week's focus of "Getting Silly with the Breakers."
Civ: You won the MedImmune Defender of the Year, does that make you more likely to use their product?
Amy: Of course, but luckily I have not had to use it yet!
Civ: Did you receive an H1N1 vaccine and did you specifically request a MedImmune vaccine?
Amy: No, I didn't get the H1N1 vaccine because not only do I rely on my defending skills out on the field, but I defend germs pretty well too.
Civ: Seriously, congratulations on being named the league's top defender. Who is the toughest WPS player you have to defend against and why?
Amy: There are many great attacking players of all different styles in WPS and that was one of the biggest challenges as a defender in this league. I had to be able to adjust from week to week.
One weekend I would be facing Marta, who is world class with the ball at her feet and dribbling at pace directly at you. The next week, I would be competing against Abby Wambach, who is the best in the world in the air inside the box.
And the following week I would have to deal with Natasha Kai's endless diagonal runs attempting to break down our back line. This league has so many talented players that every player you face poses a challenge.
Civ: As a defender, would you rather break up a rush to the net or score a goal?
Amy: The ultimate play for myself would be to break up an attack, counter, get in the box, and score a goal! This of course is in my dreams!
Civ: On your WPS profile it says that if you are traveling you never go without your phone, your Apple Book and a beanie? A beanie? Why a beanie?
Amy: I always travel with a beanie, first, because I really like them and second, because with my short hair I can have some pretty crazy bed head and a beanie is the perfect remedy.
Civ: Did you come off the field at all last season or did you play every minute of every game?
Amy: I played every minute of every game I was available. I missed one game due to National Team duty.
Civ: You have 37 members in the Amy Lepeilbet Fan Club on Facebook. Were you aware you had a fan club and are you on a first name basis with your 37 fans?
Amy: I had no idea I had a fan club page until a few weeks ago. A friend of mine told me she had joined my fan club and I had no idea what she was talking about.
I couldn't believe it. Then I took a look at it and I was even more surprised that the page was started by someone I didn't know. Before checking it out I for sure thought it would be a family member that started it. But to my surprise I have a great fan who started it all. Thank you to my fans!
Civ: How did it feel to be the number one vote getter amongst All-Stars as voted by the players? Do you think your fan club had anything to do with that?
Amy: I'm not sure about that, but I am very thankful to be so well respected by my peers.
Civ: Will the loss of Heather Mitts have an effect on the team's 1.0 goals against or 4.45 shots per game average?
Amy: Heather Mitts is a very talented defender and our team and back line will definitely miss her. However, I believe we will have a strong back line this upcoming season and will do our best to keep the ball out of the back of our net.
Civ: Alex Scott referred to you as the best defender she has ever played with, how do you respond to that?
Amy: My response to that would have to be you are only as good as your teammate next to you.
Civ: You were the number four pick in the inaugural WPS draft, did that surprise you?
Amy: I was most surprised by the fact that Boston drafted me. I talked to a few of the WPS coaches that were interested in me and Tony wasn't one of them.
Civ: Your favorite TV Show is 30 Rock. What was your favorite episode?
Amy: 30 Rock is my favorite new show, but my all time favorite TV show is Seinfeld. And there is no way I can pick a favorite episode because they are all hysterical.
Civ: Who will win the Prairie Ridge Invitational Soccer Tourney this spring?
Amy: Prairie Ridge of course! Go Wolves!
Civ: All your family members have names which begin with A except Mom. Did this make her feel like an outcast?
Amy: My mom is the lucky one because no one ever mixes up her name, where as for the rest of us, everyone calls us by each other's names and blames it on the fact that our names all start with A.
Civ: What is the coolest country you ever played in as a result of soccer?
Amy : I have been so fortunate to visit so many great countries that it is difficult to choose just one. My top three would have to be Portugal, Germany, and Japan.
Civ: Your club team Pali Blues won back to back championships. Which team was stronger 2008 with you or 2009 with Tobin Heath?
Amy: The 2008 Pali Blues was definitely the stronger team!
Civ: Would the 2008 Blues have beaten the 2009 Breakers?
Amy: Considering 12 of us are now in WPS I think it would have been a really good game.
Todd Civin is a freelance writer who writes for Bleacher Report, Sports, Then and Now, and Seamheads. He is a supporter of A Glove of Their Own, the award-winning children’s story that teaches paying it forward through baseball. He also shares his top stories on his blog The 'xoxo' of Sports.
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