MARINE CORPS AIR GROUND COMBAT CENTER TWENTYNINE PALMS, Calif. --
For the first time in the history of the Combat Center
, a women’s varsity soccer team has been formed.
After the Commanding General’s Intramural Soccer League ended, the women athletes who play soccer were given the opportunity to play on an all-women’s team and form the first ever Combat Center’s women base team.
“We’ve never had enough girls for a varsity soccer team,” said Skip Best, the athletic director for Marine Corps Community Services. “This year I was surprised at the number of girls that showed interest and wanted to put a team together.”
The development of the team may take time and will be a growing process, said Steve Bohanan, the coach of the team. “I want to make sure the women’s team has a good solid base to start out,” he said. “Without a good base line, you have no potential to grow.”
The purpose for building a solid foundation women’s soccer team, is to set up for a six on six league for the women in the upcoming years, Bohanan said.
For the women on the team, a change in the style of play is more beneficial now on an all-girl team than it was during the men’s intramurals.
“My skills and style of play are improving,” said Rylin Hughes, a player for the women’s varsity team. “I am more confident now and having a lot of fun. I am learning, and my skills are growing a lot more on this team.”
Since this is the first season, it needs to be successful so next year the girls will want to come back and develop their skills further, Bohanan added.
Women played in the intramural season, but did not have the opportunity to play to their full potential, Best said. “It’s a chance where the girls can do something for themselves and not have to compete against the guys.”
“Guys and girls play soccer a lot differently,” Hughes said. “Guys play with more power where as girls play with more finesse.”
The goal for MCCS is to grow the program to a point where the women of the Combat Center have more opportunities to play on a more national level for the Marine Corps. “We are looking to eventually send girls to the All Marine Team,” Best said. “Hopefully Headquarters Marine Corps will hear about the programs, us and Pendleton have out here, and look for players for the team.”
Despite the strong start of the program, the team is still in need of more players.
“We are looking for quality players, maybe girls who haven’t played in a year or two, who want to come out and give it a shot. We can build on that.”
For more information about the women’s varsity team, contact MCCS Sports by calling 830-4092.