New Jersey gives hero’s welcome to World Cup winner Christie Rampone

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NEPTUNE CITY, N.J. -- World Cup winner, soccer mom and team captain Christie Rampone got a hero’s welcome in her home state today. The red carpet was rolled out and a marching band blasted to the beat of her walking into Jersey Shore Medical Center.

Rampone is a spokeswoman for Meridian Health, and met with children in their pediatric unit before coming out to see a crowd that was largely made up of young girls wearing soccer shirts.

“It all started here, in Point Pleasant where I grew up playing soccer,” she said at the podium. Much of what she spoke about was directed towards her young female fan base, encouraging them to follow her steps on and off the soccer field.

“You know, at a early age I had a lot of people that didn’t believe in me. I paved the way through it and pushed and fought, so if they believe in themselves they’ll go far,” said Rampone.

“It was inspiring because I don’t like to give up,” said Jillian Ludwig after hearing Rampone, "I like to keep playing. And she’s just helped me with that.”

Rampone isn't the only soccer star these young girls have to look up to. She was one of four women on the World Cup team from New Jersey.