Sports

Fun, fun, fun for youth soccer participants

Loveleen Kaler depends on her teammate to block opponent Ashleigh Ginder during evening matches near Strawberry Fields in Marysville. -
Loveleen Kaler depends on her teammate to block opponent Ashleigh Ginder during evening matches near Strawberry Fields in Marysville.
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I started playing when I was like five, and I actually started playing because my parents kind of forced me to, but now I really like it. Its a blast and Im really glad they forced me to, said Loveleen Kaler, 13, of her love of soccer.
Kaler is one of dozens of Marysville-area athletes who have taken their love of the game past the usual three-month long soccer season of the area schools and into the city of Marysvilles youth soccer league, put on by the Parks and Recreation Department for boys and girls ages 7 to 14.
Although the games are refereed by officials, the matches are much less formal than the usual competition. The fields, located just west of Strawberry Fields north of Marysville, are set up much smaller than regulation fields. Whereas a school team might play on a football field, the city teams play each other on fields about as long as a football field is wide.
With games kicking off at 5, 6 and 7 p.m. four nights a week, time restricts most games to about 18-minute halves.
And there are no scoreboards.
Still, the players keep score. More competitive are the tournaments, Kaler said, when city teams face off for a medal and bragging rights.
For the purposes of setting a schedule, the teams are identified by a number, but Clint Moll, father of Kalers teammate Ashley Moll, said his daughters team dubbed themselves the Grapes for the purple t-shirts the girls wear during games.
For Kaler, who is finishing eighth grade at Grace Academy this spring, another advantage of going out for city soccer is the opportunity to meet girls outside of her school.
Soccer has been a really big part of my life. Ive made so many friends and its fun playing soccer with them, Kaler said. Actually, Ive played with them for like six or seven years.
We started when we were really little and we just decided to stay together through the city team. Its really fun because weve seen each other improve together and we can help each other with stuff, she added.

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