`Soccer moms' take new role on the field

Customary chauffeurs organize a league and kick it around

November 21, 2007|By Jeff Seidel | Jeff Seidel,Special to The Sun

Known for driving groups of neighborhood kids to games and practices and helping off the field, soccer moms have decided they want to get in on the action.

So, on Friday nights at the Soccerdome in Harmans, they will play in a league.

There are four divisions -- for varying levels of ability -- of Friday night leagues for the soccer moms. League coordinator April Walker said about 350 women participate. And, she said, the program is so popular there is a waiting list.

"Moms spend a lot of time taking their kids from activity to activity," Walker said. "The soccer moms league gives them an opportunity to actually do something for themselves that's fun."

Division 4 is the group for beginners and those who haven't played in a while. Those with more experience who would like to play at a slower pace are in Division 3.

Experienced players who crave a faster pace can go into Division 2, and the top eight teams, in terms of skill and speed, play in Division 1.

The four divisions rotate their games between the Harmans Soccerdome and the site in Howard County. Divisions 3 and 4 played in Harmans last weekend.

Walker said there are rules to keep the competition balanced.

If one team is winning by eight goals, the other group is allowed to add one player. In addition, no player is allowed to score more than three goals in a game. Parity and fun are the key words in this league.

"That prevents one player from dominating the game," Walker said. "That makes it a lot more fun for everybody, too."

The teams play in a six-on-six format -- including the goalie, and the games feature two 24-minute halves with running time. While the teams try to win, the moms also focus on having fun.

Kids can play video games in the area between the two fields the league uses. The league tries hard to make things a mix of social and soccer.

"The [women] like it because there are different divisions, and they can pick the division that suits their abilities," Walker said.

And, for one night, they don't have to drive the kids.

Youth football playoffs

The Anne Arundel Youth Football Association playoffs are in full swing, with one league finishing its season last weekend and another preparing for championships this Saturday.

In the Recreational League championship games last weekend, teams from the Peninsula Athletic League (PAL) Hawks led the way with three victories, while South River Gators teams had two.

Gambrills Odenton Recreation Council (GORC) Wildcats teams made it to five championship games, winning one.

The freshman/sophomore division (for high school athletes) saw PAL edge the Old Mill Patriots, 12-8. South River turned in the day's most dominating performance, a 36-6 win over the Severna Park Green Hornets in the 135-pound division.

The PAL Hawks won both 125-pound and 110-pound games. They scored a 6-0 overtime victory over GORC at 125 while beating the Severn Seminoles, 8-6, at 110 pounds.

South River blanked GORC, 12-0, in the 100-pound championship. The Fort Meade Cougars won their only championship with a 19-0 victory over GORC at 90 pounds.

The Southern Bulldogs won their lone title at 80 pounds with a 14-12 victory over GORC. GORC got its only championship by rolling to a 26-6 victory over the Upper Queen Anne's Lions.

The Select League championship game schedule is set for Saturday at Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium, starting at 9 a.m. Stadium parking and admission costs $5, with children younger than 7 free.

Here is a list of the seven title games:

9 a.m. -- GORC Wildcats vs. Pasadena Chargers (80 pounds)

10:30 a.m. -- Crofton Cardinals vs. Pasadena Chargers (90 pounds)

Noon -- GORC Wildcats vs. Chesapeake Bay Piranhas (100 pounds)

1:30 p.m. -- Buzzy Platt Sportsmanship Awards

2 p.m. -- GORC Wildcats vs. Pasadena Chargers (110 pounds)

4 p.m. -- Crofton Cardinals vs. Edgewater Bluedevils (125 pounds)

6 p.m. -- Anne Arundel Gridiron Rebels vs. Pasadena Chargers (13-and-under division)

Winners of these games have a chance to enter a statewide tournament that will culminate in a championship game next month at M&T Bank Stadium.

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