Ladies night: Monday pickup soccer game blossoms during summer
For the past month, a group of local women has spent its summer redefining the term “soccer mom” by getting in on the action themselves. And on Monday nights, players of varying skill levels are showcasing their games while having some fun on the pitch in friendly pickup soccer games.
“We were inspired by our young girls, and we wanted them to be inspired by us too — that’s how we started,” said Andrea Irwin, who came up with the idea while watching her 9-year-old daughter play the sport.
“My girlfriends and I got to thinking — we’re not all athletes, but we thought maybe we should come out and kick the ball around a little bit.”
Five players came out for the first installment of Monday night soccer, and since then the turnout has increased each week. On Monday at South Tahoe Middle School, 22 women took the field — enough for a full 11-on-11 full scrimmage.
“We have some teachers, we have some veterinarians, we have a firefighter, we have stay-at-home moms — and I was thinking what better way to get out and get some exercise,” Irwin said. “We go out to have some fun — and it’s nothing too serious.”
The pickup games feature women of varying ages and skill levels — ranging from playing in the college ranks to having no previous experience. What the players have in common is enjoying the camaraderie and friendship between the dribbles, passes and shots during the lighthearted contests.
“One girlfriend of mine said it’s the happiest she’s been in a long time — she feels like an athlete again,” Irwin said. “We just go there to have a good time, we have a ton of kids cheering us and our husbands come out.”
Irwin said the Monday night pickup games will keep going at least until school starts at the end of August, when nights become filled with kids’ afterschool activities. If the games stop next month, she is already looking forward to starting things up again next summer.
“It’s just been great and I’m really happy with it,” Irwin said. “We’re going to finish up and see where it takes us at the end of next month.”
The pickup games will be held Monday nights at 5:30 p.m. at STMS in August with warmups before. Irwin said anyone is welcome to come play — no matter their age or skill level.
“If anyone wants to play, they want to have some fun and not be too crazy about it, they’re welcome to come on by, kick the ball around and have some fun with some friends,” Irwin said.
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Strong wind has led to multiple power outages Tuesday morning and a pair of Lake Tahoe ski resorts will not open due to the strong gusts.