10 Dec The Score’s Just Kick It and FIFA Festival for Girls Concludes
Weekend rain showers subsided just in time for hundreds of girls to play in the final week of The Score’s “Just Kick It” All-Girls Event and FIFA Festival for Girls at the Guam Football Association National Training Center.
“I really liked it that we girls actually got to work together and play as one team through this event,” said 12-year-old Amista Lujan from the Southern Cobras. “We also saw that boys aren’t the only ones who can be tough on the field.”
Lujan played up one age division and scored twice for the Cobras against other U14 division teams during the event. The student at Oceanview Middle School has played for the Cobras since she was six years old, like teammate Inina Topasna, who also scored for her team.
“I really hope we have the All-Girls event more often,” Topasna said. “I think it’s good for us so that when we come together for the (Docomo Pacific Robbie Webber) youth league, we can work better with the boys.”
For the final week, the U8, U10, and U12 age groups participated in a grassroots festival type atmosphere, participating in soccer skill stations with guest coaches from the GFA National Academy before mixing up teams for friendly matches. The U14 and U17 division teams played their final scheduled matches of the event.
“Overall, this event is great for the girls,” said Fred Alig, a coach with the Southern Cobras. “It builds self-esteem and self-confidence in the girls when playing the sport. The girls don’t have to worry about boys not giving them opportunities – they can play their style here.
“Since it was announced that GFA was having the all-girls event, we’ve gotten many more girls interested in playing again or playing for the first time. For our youth league teams in past seasons, we barely got this many girls sign up, maybe only two or three average per division,” the Santa Rita resident added.
ASC Isla Sports Association Islanders president and coach Jean Cepeda echoed Alig’s support of the all-girls event. Over 40 girls signed up to play in five divisions for the Islanders during the event.
“The girls get to play without having to worry about getting the ball from the boys,” Cepeda said. “When they begin playing in the co-ed youth league (Saturday), they’ll play with more confidence and feel less intimidated.
“I really hope GFA continues events like this one, even if it’s a short five weeks for the girls. It also helps by giving the girls a head start in playing matches before the youth league,” Cepeda added.
In the U14 division, Quality Distributors FC’s Harmony Yatar scored a late first-half goal to help her team salvage a 1-1 draw with the Islanders and finish the league undefeated. Aubrienne Pangindian scored the Islanders’ goal.
In the U17 division, the Islanders edged the Southern Heat 2-1 behind goals from Veronica Dydasco and Ariane Chabanne. Alyssandra Cruz scored for the Heat. In the day’s other U17 division match, Randi Paulino, Shania Spindel, Morgan Quinley and Kaitlyn Roberto all scored in Hyundai’s victory over Quality Distributors.
The girls next move on to play with their club teams in the Docomo Pacific Robbie Webber Youth League set to begin Saturday.