When concussion symptoms reared their ugly heads, Stanford's Emily Oliver and Richmond's Becca Wann knew when to walk away from their soccer careers, choosing their future and their health.
With injured stars, a rookie goalkeeper and home-field advantage all part of the mix, there are plenty of issues to consider heading into the first NWSL championship game between the Thorns and the Flash.
Bryane Heaberlin credits a tough run of on-field defeats for opening her eyes to the world around her, its problems and how to solve them through her Many Hearts, One Goal foundation.
Goalkeeper Adelaide Gay was told she wouldn't play if she transferred to North Carolina. Luckily for the Tar Heels, she wouldn't be denied.
Florida's Taylor Burke has the height and athleticism to be a world-class soccer goalie and high jumper. Just don't ask her to choose.