Tisha Venturini-Hoch is the
only soccer player to have played on teams that won the NCAA, world and
with the CyberRays she came through with goals from the midfield when
they were most needed by the CyberRays. After suffering a broken left
wrist in the inaugural game against the Washington Freedom,
Venturini-Hoch sat out two matches, then returned and played with a
heavy cast on her arm May 13 against the Carolina Courage and scored the
winning goal in the CyberRays' first victory. A month later in a rematch
against the Courage, still in the cast, she scored again. Her most
important goal of the season, however, came in the 86th minute of the
WUSA Championship Game to tie the Atlanta Beat and send the game to
overtime. That match was decided by penalty kicks, and Venturini-Hoch
was the first of four CyberRays to connect in the 4-2 victory. The
CyberRays won every game in which she scored a goal.
Venturini-Hoch tied with
Kristine Lilly and Tiffeny Milbrett as the United States' leading
scorers with three goals in the 1995 FIFA Women's World Championship.
She came back four years later to score on a pair of headers in Team
USA's first-round victory over North Korea in WWC '99. She was a reserve
on that team, appearing in two matches. After her second goal against
North Korea, she turned a back-flip, one of the tournament's memorable
images. Played in overtime of the World Cup final against China.
Venturini-Hoch was a four-time all-American at North Carolina, where she
started 93 of 95 games in a career in which the Tar Heels won four NCAA
championships. In 1994 she won college soccer's top two awards, the
Missouri Athletic Club College Player of the Year Award and the Hermann
Trophy, as well as being named most valuable player of the NCAA
Tisha Lea Venturini ("Tish"). Married Casey Hoch, a former North
Carolina baseball player who is a sales representative for a golf
equipment manufacturer, after the conclusion of the 2001 season. Father
Chick is a physician, mother Lynda is a director of charity work. She
graduated from North Carolina in 1995 with a Bachelor of Arts in
Earliest soccer memory:
Playing soccer in the garage with her brother, Todd, and his buddies.
Favorite soccer player:
Kristine Lilly of the Boston Breakers who is "the hardest working, most
skillful player out there, and she always has fun."
Most important event in soccer career outside
Playing in the 1996 Atlanta Olympic Games, "something I've dreamed of my
Significance of 1999 Women's World Cup:
"We have this
league to play in, and we made history."
Favorite World Cup memory:
"The bus ride to the first
game at Giants Stadium, seeing all the cars and people decorated in red,
white and blue, tailgating everywhere, cheering at the bus."
Children's Crisis Center in Modesto.
Favorite sport other than soccer:
If you could be any athlete for a day:
Track star Marion Jones "so I could be faster than everyone."
Three favorite foods:
Cioppino, sushi, taco salad.