Tori Penso and her eight-month-old daughter watched the 2019 Women’s World Cup at home. Penso, a mother of three small kids, had a dream that she would be in the game in 2023 when it was hold again.
She wouldn’t be the squad captain, the assistant manager, or the top scorer. As the head referee, she would be there in the center of everything.
Penso will proudly take the field with Australia and England on Wednesday to officiate the Women’s World Cup. Semifinal at Sydney’s Stadium Australia, four years and numerous professional games later.
According to Penso, “I didn’t have another job that was preventing me from my analysis and all the work it takes to be an elite referee, so I was able to go all in on soccer.”
Penso was one of six American referees chosen by FIFA, the organization that governs soccer worldwide. To travel to Australia and New Zealand for the 2023 Women’s World Cup. This decision was made two years later.
Tori Penso told before departing that she couldn’t believe her fantasy had come true.
She remarked, “I would have said no way if you had told me six years ago that I would be here talking to you about going to New Zealand and Australia for the Women’s World Cup.
Being present here today is an incredible experience that I do not take for granted.
Just like players, referees put in work. “No success happens overnight,” thought Penso. “Like every journey, hers had its ups and downs.”
“I officiate in a men’s top league as a female referee. There are several difficulties associated with that, she noted. “We don’t just show up to the fields on a Saturday night with lights on. To get there, a lot is required. significant experience rising through the ranks. The work is strenuous physically.
Tori Penso has had to increase his speed as the players do.
Penso remarked that “our training is very much like a player,” adding that “I do everything from sprint training to high intensity strength training two to three times a week.” You should expect to practice for an hour to two hours every day, seven days a week.
According to Penso, professional refereeing is mentally taxing due to the amount of travel required. In addition to the physical demands of controlling soccer matches.
The Florida native stated, “Just like players, we’re doing sometimes three games in a 10-day span, and there’s travel that goes with that.” That might require me to take a six-hour journey from Florida to Portland for the game and back, followed by a possible midweek game in New York.
Penso made another comparison between officials and athletes, stating that “behind every official there is a person who has fought incredibly hard to be there… They are in competition for the next opportunity, just like the players.