For a fourth time, Westhills Stadium is showcasing some of the top female soccer players in Greater Victoria and beyond.
The Lower Island Women’s Soccer Association all-star games happen this Sunday (Jan. 10) on the turf in Langford. As always, these “good will” style matches will feature some impressive talent, said league president Casey Tepper.
“It’s a huge opportunity to see some of the best players (on the south Island),” he said, adding that 80 to 90 individuals representing 54 teams from Nanaimo south are taking part.
The noon match sees assembled players from the Premier and Division 1 clubs go head-to-head, followed at 2:30 p.m. by two assorted sides made up of Div. 2, 3 and over-30s players.
West Shore fans will see some familiar faces in the lineups, as players from the Juan de Fuca club’s four teams (Div. 1, 2, 3 and over-30A) will see action Sunday. In general, those teams are made up of players ranging in age from late teens to 30s and 40s.
Juan de Fuca United Div. 1 manager Lyndsay Katz said her team, in particular, has been dedicated to working with the under-18 youth teams in the Juan de Fuca Soccer Association to ensure talented young players stay within the club as they transition from girls to women’s soccer.
“This season we have five new players who transitioned to our team from the under-18 Juan de Fuca gold team,” she said.
The selection process for the all-star games requires every LIWSA team to put forward names of players they wish to represent them, Tepper said. While the top teams in the Premier Division might have several players considered among the best in the association, the spirit of the all-star games is better demonstrated by having all teams represented, he added.
“Most of these women are weekend warriors, they just want to go out there and have a good time,” he said.
Having had good experiences basing the all-star matches in Langford, Tepper said, the association hopes to make Westhills Stadium the permanent venue for its winter classics.
Although the all-star games feature talented female players from all over the lower Island, Katz said, “It certainly helps showcase the beautiful facilities at which we host our home games.”
For more information on the association, visit liwsa.com.
Help the hungry
• This Sunday’s Lower Island Women’s Soccer Association all-star day at Westhills Stadium also serves as a collection event for non-perishable food items for the Mustard Seed food bank. Spectators are asked to bring items for drop-off into bins on hand during the games.