More than a decade after her father died, Lauren Sullenberger has spent a lot of time reflecting on the legacy of her father, former U.S. Soccer player Megan Rapinoe.
Sullenbach and her husband, Aaron, both played in the U.K. Women’s National Team, including a year in 2013 when she was named a starter and was part of the team’s historic run to the FIFA Women’s World Cup.
Rapinoes daughter, Madison, is currently a member of the U-20 national team.
“She’s been through a lot and she’s a very driven, passionate person,” Sullens said.
“She loves her kids and loves her sport.
She loves everything about it.
She’s a really hard worker.
She doesn’t like to give up.”
While it may seem obvious to some, it’s not always clear to others.
Rapins mother, Christine, died in 2016 after a long battle with lung cancer.
Rapi’s father, Peter, was a successful business owner who was married to former U-21 national team player and former U of L soccer player Stephanie Hough.
Schellenbach’s father died in 2015.
She was one of three daughters to play for the U of S men’s soccer team.
Sailor mom, Megan, and the Rapins’ other daughters, Taylor and Madison, also played for the University of Alabama.
Raplinoes daughters, Madison and Lauren, played for Notre Dame.
“It’s not that we’ve had an easy life,” Schellenberger said.
“We’ve had to grow up in a lot different ways, but Megan and Megan Rapins family have been so supportive and I think that’s what makes us so resilient.
We’re really grateful for their support and for the support of the other parents.”
The first time she got to meet Rapino, she was a kid at a birthday party and was shocked to see her sister in the crowd.
Rapina, as she is affectionately called, was only two years older than Megan.
“I just wanted to ask her what was she like?
Why was she here?
How did she know?”
When she asked, she said Rapinos mom gave her a hug.
The two met at a U-23 camp in Texas.
They started playing soccer and in 2010, Sullensteiners dad, Peter Rapinoss, was named the head coach of the United Soccer Leagues (USL).
In the next four years, the club would become a powerhouse.
The USL finished in the top five of the national table for the last two years and reached the World Cup in 2016.
Rapinoss was fired in 2014 and was replaced by U-18 coach Brian Shriver, who would go on to win the MLS Cup in 2019.
Rapiniss sons, Taylor, Lauren and Madison were also part of that U.C.L. team that won the league title in 2020.
Sillenberger and her family moved to Los Angeles, California, in the summer of 2016.
The summer was a whirlwind for the couple, but the support from her mother was invaluable, Sillenbach said.
Rapinnos daughter, Taylor Rapinol, played in college and graduated from USC in the fall of 2016 with a degree in women’s soccer.
“The most important thing is to have those kind of conversations and really talk about how important it is for the family and how important our sport is,” Sillens mother said.
At the time, Rapinoles team was a three-time team champion and ranked fifth in the country.
But in March 2019, Rapi Rapinoz was diagnosed with lymphoma.
Sideline to Rapinotss family: The U. of A has two scholarships to offer, one to be the first of its kind.
That scholarship is open to the public.
The school is accepting applications starting May 14.
For more information on U-25 women’s national team, visit www.usls-womens-national-team.com