Senior games: Kickin’ it after 50 at HWSG women’s soccer event

Still Kicking vs. 3 Left Feet, Huntsman Senior Games, Womens Soccer , Utah, Oct. 11, 2014 | Photo by Robert Hoppie, ASPpix.com, St. George News

ST. GEORGE — Pick any Saturday at the local park and one is likely to find plenty of young people running around the soccer fields, getting their kicks while enjoying sunny weather and plenty of exercise.

huntsman senior gamesThis Saturday was no different, except upon closer examination, the players on the fields at the Little Valley soccer complex were only young at heart.

Teams from around the United States gathered here to compete for gold in four divisions and two age groups. And while the action wasn’t as swift and the athletes weren’t exactly elite, the competitive spirit was strong and the skill level was actually pretty high.

“We don’t get around as quickly as we used to, but we love staying active,” said Hawaiian Kehau McGuire, who lives in Oahu. “We play soccer year-round, plus most of us play other sports as well. I like softball. That’s where they recruited me.”

3 Left Feet vs. Texas Heat, Huntsman World Senior Games, Womens Soccer , Utah, Oct. 11, 2014 | Photo by Robert Hoppie, ASPpix.com, St. George News
3 Left Feet vs. Texas Heat, Huntsman World Senior Games, Womens Soccer , Utah, Oct. 11, 2014 | Photo by Robert Hoppie, ASPpix.com, St. George News

McGuire’s Hawaii 50 team won gold in the 50-plus A Group, going undefeated in the Round Robin format.

“This is my second time here in Utah at the Senior Games,” McGuire said. “The team comes every year. They also play in Las Vegas and they just got back from Euro Cup in Italy.”

Another Hawaiian also competed at the games, with Hawaii Express grabbing silver in the 60-plus A Group. Connextions, from Michigan, beat Kawaii Express 2-0 in the gold medal game.

The 60-plus B Group was won by Still Kicking out of Sacramento, which defeated Still Standing, from San Diego, in pool play. The 50-plus B group was won by Wakiza, a collection of players from Washington state and Santa Cruz, Calif. They defeated Twisted Sister, a Denver team, to take the gold medal.

“We get a good assortment of teams from around the country,” said event director Jim Maples. “These teams play all over — they compete for what’s called the Veteran’s Cup. Some of them are very, very good.”
Maples said the event added three teams from last year and expects it to be even bigger next year.

3 Left Feet vs. Texas Heat, Huntsman Senior Games, Womens Soccer , Utah, Oct. 11, 2014 | Photo by Robert Hoppie, ASPpix.com, St. George News
3 Left Feet vs. Texas Heat, Huntsman Senior Games, Womens Soccer , Utah, Oct. 11, 2014 | Photo by Robert Hoppie, ASPpix.com, St. George News

“Women’s soccer just keeps growing,” he said. “A lot of these ladies played in college, but some picked it up later in life. With youth soccer and the women’s World Cup, it’s just growing, even among the older athletes. The weather has been perfect this year, too. I think everyone is loving it this year.”

The teams played eight women per team and used a smaller field (80 yards by 40 yards vs. 120 by 90 for a full-size field).

“I’m one of the young ones,” said McGuire, who is 51. “But no matter what age, there are some really good players out there.”

The Huntsman World Senior Games take Sunday off before resuming action Monday and running through Oct. 18 throughout Washington County.

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Email: sports@stgnews.com

Twitter: @oldschoolag

Copyright St. George News, SaintGeorgeUtah.com LLC, 2014, all rights reserved.

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4 Comments

  • soccermom October 11, 2014 at 7:57 pm

    This I awesome! I hope my children keep playing on just like these women. They are an inspiration that age is just a number! Love it! !

  • Jeannine October 13, 2014 at 9:49 am

    We had a great time! Thanks for the great pictures of my team, Texas Heat.

  • Katie October 14, 2014 at 3:42 pm

    Thanks for the great article – it is nice to be noticed. The organizers of the tournament do a great job and we here in Colorado are hoping the registration continues to grow so we can continue to meet more and more of our soccer peers.
    Until October 2015 – Take Care

  • Katie October 14, 2014 at 4:49 pm

    And while the action wasn’t as swift and the athletes weren’t exactly elite, the competitive spirit was strong and the skill level was actually pretty high.- I think just being there at this age is elite…. And your article mentioned teams from all over the US – just a note – one team was from Canada

    thanks

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