LOOK: Rose Lavelle, USWNT World Cup champion, dressed up as Mia Hamm back in third grade

Rose Lavelle is the rising superstar of the 2019 U.S. women's national team, which just cemented its status as one of the greatest groups to ever represent America on a global stage.

It turns out the 24-year-old midfielder has been firmly on Team USA since long before her World Cup heroics, too.

Mikki Dunkley, principal of St. Vincent Ferrer Catholic School in Cincinnati, posted on Facebook hours after the Americans' second straight World Cup victory this week to remind USWNT fans that Lavelle has been supporting the women's team since childhood.

"Once upon a time, this little girl dressed up as her hero, Mia Hamm, for a book sharing project," Dunkley wrote. "Now, little girls everywhere look up to her, and will be working hard to become like Rose."

Dunkley's remarks were accompanied by a picture of Lavelle back in 2003 rocking a Hamm jersey, white soccer shorts and a pretend World Cup medal in front of her third-grade class. Each October, students in Lisa Neubauer's class were assigned a biography project centered on their own personal hero and had to present their reports dressed as the hero in the spirit of Halloween, as The Washington Post reported. Lavelle donned her Mia Hamm outfit the same month Hamm and the USWNT fell to Germany in the 2003 World Cup semifinals.

After Sunday's U.S. victory over the Netherlands, in which Lavelle scored to help push the Americans' lead to 2-0, Hamm herself was among those to congratulate the repeat champions, paying tribute to the team via Twitter.

The retired two-time Olympic gold medalist is one of the all-time faces of the women's national team, not to mention women's soccer as a whole. Now 47, Hamm appeared in four different World Cup tourneys with America, winning the inaugural 1991 final and then claiming another title in 1999. She left the game as the international leader in career goals scored, among both men and women, and was a five-time U.S. Soccer Female Athlete of the Year honoree.

CBS Sports Writer

Cody Benjamin joined CBS Sports in 2017 after time spent with SB Nation, various newspapers and his own Eagles outlet. Raised around the Philly sports scene, he now lives in Minnesota with his wife and... Full Bio

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