A backup defender and midfielder, Sara Whalen was a member of the United States national team that won the 1999 Women's World Cup. She played several key minutes in the final against China, replacing veteran Michelle Akers in overtime. Whalen says she was shaking with nerves, but she played well in helping preserve the scoreless tie (America won the game in a penalty-kick shootout).
When Whalen was first invited by then-head coach Tony DiCicco to try out for the national team, she wasn't even sure what DiCicco was talking about. A soon-to-be University of Connecticut sophomore at the time, she accepted the offer but didn't make the team. She was invited back after her junior season and made the team. Whalen's versatility is one of her biggest assets and at one time or another, she has subbed at all of the midfield and defensive positions.
In 1998, Sara was the National Player of the Year while at U Conn. Sara was voted on the Soccer America All-Decade Team of the 1990's. Sara is a member of the new Women's USA Pro Soccer League New York Power Team.
The Women's Soccer Team won silver at the Sydney Games.