Guam – Players engaged in giggle-fests from missed shots, elatedly celebrated some first-ever goals, and many may have experienced Monday-morning body aches – all in fun – from the action at Guam Football Association’s inaugural Soccer Moms League, made possible through a women’s football grant from FIFA.
The sunny afternoon began with a parade of teams and a short opening speech by GFA President Richard Lai before over 100 women made their way to the pitch for the league’s first matches. About 100 more players joined their families and other spectators to wait for their scheduled 4:10 p.m. matches. For most, the afternoon signaled the first time they would ever play in an organized soccer match, after years of making GFA their home on the weekends to cheer on their children or husbands from the sidelines.
[The teams participating in the Guam Football Association Soccer Moms League pose for a group photo during an opening ceremony before the start of the league matches at the GFA National Training Center.]
“It’s payback – this time my kids and my husband get to yell at me during the match,” said first-time soccer player Matilda Ward, whose children Leilani and Taka play for Quality Distributors in the Docomo Pacific Robbie Webber Youth Soccer League and husband Kieron plays for the Rovers Masters.
Ward, the goalkeeper for team Victorious Secrets, surprised herself by managing to stop shots and at times, making good on some gutsy plays running out of her box and leaving the goal unattended in her team’s close match against the Blue Ballers.
“For my first time playing, I thought the women were fairly good – some had some mean kicks, I surely felt them in the goal,” said Ward after the match.
The Supersonics’ Armi Lujan, Victorious Secrets’ Cecilia Leonen, and Wolverines Båsta Move Blue’s Tequilla Harris were credited with the league’s first goals in their respective 3 p.m. matches.
[The Wolverines Båsta Move Blue’s Tequilla Harris celebrates with teammates after scoring the first goal in her team’s match against the Power Puff Moms in the inaugural Guam Football Association Soccer Moms League at the GFA National Training Center.]
All ten teams – Lady Bombers Blue, Victorious Secrets, Wolverines Båsta Move Blue, Power Puff Moms, Islanders Wrecking Women, Goal Diggers, Wolverines Pika Mommas, the Heat Wave, the Supersonics and the Islanders Wrecked Havoc – saw action in the league’s opening day.
On the upper turf pitch, Week 3 of the Bud Light Women’s 11-A-Side Soccer League continued with Quality Distributors edging the Lady Rovers 4-3. Quality’s Kayla Kinney led all scorers with a hat trick and teammate Paige Surber added to the winning team’s tally. Niki Perkins scored twice for the Lady Rovers and teammate Christine Simard also scored.
The Doosan Lady Crushers continue as the lone undefeated team in the league, after defeating Guam Shipyard 9-1. Maria Abbey Iriarte, Skyylerblu Johnson and Colleen Naden each scored twice for the Lady Crushers. Simie Willter, Andrea Odell, and Kattie Mills also scored for the Lady Crushers. Alyssa Benito scored Shipyard’s lone goal.
The Paintco Lady Strykers narrowly defeated Hyundai 3-2. Kim Sherman’s brace led the winning team. Francesca Pangelinan scored the Lady Strykers’ other goal. Olivia Flores scored twice for Hyundai, including one after riskily colliding with Strykers’ goalkeeper Gesualda Gonzalez.
Both the Soccer Moms League and the Women’s League continue 3 p.m. Sunday.