Life has become livelier for Ireland women’s international Stephanie Roche since her wonder goal in the national league went viral and won her fans across the globe.
As of last night, a YouTube clip of the winger’s strike for Peamount United from nine days ago was hurtling towards the one million mark of hits. Sending the internet into overdrive was a Twitter message from a legendary scorer of memorable goals, during his Southampton days, Matt Le Tissier, who rated Roche’s rocket as the goal of the season.
Her sensational goal in the 6-1 win at Wexford Youths came when she controlled a right-wing cross, twice flicked the ball over her marker before unleashing a 30-yard cracker into the top corner. Seldom are games in the Bus Éireann Women’s National League recorded but, luckily, a camera was there to capture one of Irish football’s magic moments of the year.
Le Tissier wasn’t the only luminary to thrall at the 24-year-old’s piece of brilliance. From the football world, USA striker Abby Wambach and Ireland midfielder David Meyler dished out the plaudits online while comedians Dara Ó Briain and James Corden immersed Roche’s name further into cyberspace.
Her phone hasn’t stop ringing since the weekend, with yesterday’s schedule resembling that of an X-factor winner. Radio and television interviews had to be juggled with requests from newspapers for her reaction.
Even Roche’s boyfriend of almost seven years, Bray Wanderers defender Dean Zamba, got contacted to ascertain his feelings on being shunted to the shadows.
Most importantly for the player herself, the last week-and-a-half has marked an upturn to a frustrating season.
Missing out on the Ireland squad for the World Cup qualification openers last month was a wrench, so too her scoring drought up to the Ferrycarrig firework. She then grabbed a brace in Sunday’s 5-2 victory over Galway.
“It was a brilliant enough feeling to get off the mark in Wexford but, when I heard there was a video camera there, I just had to get a copy,” said Roche.
“Never in a million years did I expect the clip to get such attention. The national league doesn’t get much publicity so I’m delighted to help it get profile all over the world.”
As a Manchester United fan, the Dubliner has looked to Robin van Persie and Wayne Rooney for techniques to execute the ultimate goal.
Amongst those given airtime over the weekend were brilliant finishes by Jack Wilshere and Zlatan Ibrahimovic, yet Roche’s stunner wasn’t far from the gallery.
Receiving the nod from Le Tissier was sufficient for the Irish woman to marvel in the limelight.
“He [Le Tissier] scored some of the best-ever goals in the Premier Leagues, so I was left speechless by his tweet,” she said.
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