Part 10 in a series of articles on the players that make up the 2009 Los Angeles Sol.
Rewind the clock back several hours, days and weeks to March 29, 2009.
The fifth minute of play. A free kick. And a header.
"Overloading numbers in the back posts...bending one into the far side, Scurry off her line, IT'S IIIIIN!!!"
That was Mark Rogandino of Fox Soccer Channel heralding the first-ever goal in Women's Professional Soccer history.
And it was from the most unexpected of players.
A rangy defender blessed with a 6-foot frame scored the biggest goal of her young career, wearing the No. 3 on the back of her jersey.
Her name? Allison Falk.
The game of soccer is a game that does not know the definition of predictability.
But unpredictability? And unexpected? You'd better believe those two words have been in the game's lexicon since it was known in the days of antiquity as harpastum!
No one ever thought that two decade later, Allison Falk, born in renton Washington on March 31, 1987, would be the first-ever goal scorer in the WPS.
Renton is located 13 kilometers southeast of Seattle. It's where Giants pitching phenom Tim Lincecum was born and guitar pioneer Jimi Hendrix is buried. As a USL First Division side, the Seattle Sounders Football Club plied their trade at the Starfire Sports Complex in Tukwila before moving to Qwest Field as a member of Major League Soccer.
In order to play with the best soccer players in the world, hard work forged by a foundation of love and appreciation of the game must be realized first.
For Falk, it started with a move to Danville, California, and the Pleasanton Rage Girls Soccer Association. As she moved up the youth soccer ranks for the Rage, she was a clutch defender for the San Ramon Valley High School Wolves.
A four-year letterwinner and team captain in her junior and senior years, she was selected to the East Bay Athletic League all four seasons to go with league titles in 2003 and 2004, and a CIF North Coast Section finals finish in 2004. In that same year, Falk named the section's player of the year.
Falk would then sign a letter of intent with the Stanford Cardinal, coached by Paul Ratcliffe. (FC Gold Pride coach Albertin Montoya is a volunteer assistant with the Cardinal.)
The payoff was immediate.
In her freshman season, Falk was named to the Pac-10 All-Freshman team. As a sophomore, she led the Cardinal to 15 shutouts, a 0.55 goals against average (GAA) and was named to the All-Pac-10 Second Team.
In Falk's junior season, Stanford boasted the beast regular season GAA on her way to All-Pac-10 Honorable Mention honors. That year, the Cardinal-which also featured FC Gold Pride player Rachel Buehler-sported a 15-3-5 record, to go with a third place finish in the conference and Sweet 16 finish.
As a senior, Falk was once again named to the All-Pac-10 second team, helping Stanford post a .317 GAA. The Cardinal, a top ten team, finished second to UCLA in the conference on their way to a 22-2-1 record and their first Women's College Cup appearance since 1993.
With the inaugural WPS season looming on the horizon, it wasn't long before Falk would be welcomed into the big time.
In the 2009 WPS Entry draft, Falk was selected as the 10th overall pick by the Los Angeles Sol.
Within weeks, all the hard work she put in on defense-first wearing green and gold of San Ramon High, the orange of the Pleasanton Rage, the cardinal and white of Stanford and now the blue, gold and white of Los Angeles-would come full circle like the disc that is the team logo's centerpiece.
A header off a set piece by Aya Miyama went over the flailing reach of Washington Freedom goalkeeper Brianna Scurry.
She went about, her eyes bulging, her mouth open in disbelief as if to say, "Oh my God! What the heck's going on here? My birthday is not till Tuesday and I just received the best present I could ever have in my life! Mercy!"
Allison Falk had scored the first-ever goal in the history of the league, of the team, and of her career.
Will there be more to come? No one really knows for sure.
But if the gift-givers that are the Football Gods know the date, and those who play the game or watch it don't, perhaps it's all part of the plan. It justifies the premise of the "predictability" never being in the game's lexicon.
Even Allison Falk knew that, as she celebrated in the Freedom half to the roars of the thousands who were there to "See Extraordinary."