BY JALEN STUBBS, SPORTS EDITOR
Mason women’s soccer midfielder, Milan Pierre Jerome, makes history by becoming the first female Haitian soccer player to make a FIFA Women’s World Cup appearance.
“My first reaction was very emotional,” said Jerome. “I think being able to realize that being the first to ever do it for our country just made me really happy, to see everything we’ve been going through this past year.”
This is meaningful for Milan because she hopes to be an inspiration to other female soccer players in her country. She is grateful to be positively impacting not only the female soccer players in her country but all women of Haitian descent.
“I’m able to represent my small country in a positive light in the World Cup and do something, not many people can say they do,” said Jerome.
The selection process was a journey for Jerome. Her story stems from her high school years at 14 when she traveled to Haiti for two weeks. The trial occurred during those two weeks when she trained with other soccer players.
“I trained with the girls, ate with the girls, got acclimated with the style of play,” said Jerome. “After, they told me that they’d call me up for the first tournament for the U17 and we did the U17 Caribbean Cup Championship a month after.”
While at the University of Maryland, Jerome has had 2 exceptional seasons. According to Mason Athletics, during the 2020-21 season, Jerome made nine appearances while starting at 3 of those games and played a total of one hundred ten minutes. Before that, she attended Saint Thomas Aquinas High School in Fort Lauderdale Florida where she represented the Haiti National Team for U17 and U20.
Junior Vincent Nguyen, who is a professional soccer fan, is excited to have a fellow Mason student compete at such a high level. He is very proud of Milan’s accomplishments on and off the field.
“It’s not easy to help your country qualify for its first-ever FIFA Women’s World Cup and doing so is commendable,” said Nguyen. “As a Mason student, I’m proud to call her one of our own and excited to see everything she can do this summer.”
What Nguyen finds most exciting about the sport of soccer is the means of uniting people of different backgrounds and cultures. He sees that potential in Jerome.
“While I do believe Milan faces many difficult challenges ahead in the World Cup playing teams like England, Denmark and China, I feel like her mentality will help her overcome these challenges and shock the world,” said Nguyen.