Lady Ballers, Meet Mariah Schneider:
Passionate Soccer Player, Song Writer & Singer
"My personal athletic career has undergone many different stages. Growing up in Germany, there was an unspoken expectation of every child to pick at least one sport so that they could stay healthy, learn to operate in a team environment, and have fun at the same time. Just like every other girl, my first instinct was horseback riding or dance. Horseback riding it was, at least until my friend introduced me to the sport we all just can’t get enough of. I was about seven years old when I started kicking the ball as the only girl amongst all the wild boys. I would soon establish authority on the field, whether it was an organized little league or just the neighborhood kids kicking the ball around on a crappy field, between wooden goals with broken nets. It didn’t take long for the boys to get over the fact that I was a girl and start making me their first pick, because they knew I wouldn’t hesitate to slide tackle in the mud or throw my body in between the ball and the goal at any point. For the next five years, I kept my proud spot as a starting defender on the boys teams. However, the rules changed once I turned twelve and had to start playing on a girls team. We would go on to stay at the top of our league for three consecutive years, landing on the podium amongst higher rated teams at a tournament in Spain. In my opinion, this had to do solely with team spirit, commitment, and the desire to go above and beyond as individuals in order to make the team stronger.
When I moved to Nashville in 2013 (at the age of 15), soccer began sharing my passion and commitment with music. I attended the Nashville School of The Arts, and because my high school didn’t have any athletic organizations, I got to play for Martin Luther King Jr. Magnet. After nine weeks I was shocked to realize that so called “travel-teams,” which cost a lot of money, would be my only opportunity to play soccer in the upcoming eight months. This was something that I was unfamiliar with since in Germany you can join organized teams for free. For the first time in nine years, I wouldn’t be a part of a team. Not that I cried for several days straight, but I cried for several days straight. I started focusing more on music, but until the 2015 Women’s World Cup and pre-season workouts, a part of me was missing. That wasn’t my biggest problem though; now that I’d been living in the US for almost two years, WHO WAS I GOING TO ROOT FOR? While Germany was still home to me, and the men hadn’t disappointed in the previous World Cup, how could I resist falling in love with Tobin’s insane dribbling skills, and Kelley’s epic quidditch slip, and Syd’s badass tattoos, and Kling’s epic goalie skills, and, and, and….I believed. That summer I walked along the beach in Florida, recently having started reading Hope Solo’s biography, and trying to recover from the epic world cup win. I started listening to the riff my band’s guitarist had sent to me with only one thing in mind - “She Believed”. And that is exactly what the song is about. Individuals coming together to fight for what they believe in as a team, regardless of who is telling them they can’t do it.
So if you share the same love for the sport and our USWNT, please go check out my band’s song “She Believed” on SoundCloud and spread the word so that we make it an anthem for our girls at the upcoming summer Olympics: https://soundcloud.