MONTCLAIR, NJ — On Saturday, June 2, the 23 members of “Sorry Not Sorry,” the Westfield Soccer Association Women’s team, took the field in the 18th annual Goals for Life tournament at Brookfield Park in Montclair. Goals for Life is a non-profitorganization founded by “novice soccer moms,” whose mission is to raise funds for women’s health initiatives. This year, charities for breast cancer survivors will receive money raised by the tournament.
The team tied two games and won their third 2-0.
“It was a great day and the ladies had nothing but love for each other at the end of the day,” said Marilyn O’Connell, who has been running the Westfield program with Cara Dowden for three years.
“Sorry Not Sorry” is a group of women from Westfield and surrounding towns ranging in age from early 20s to late 50s with soccer skill levels ranging from novice to former Division 1 college players. Their spring season came to a close with the tournament this weekend.
“We have an amazing mix of abilities and we make it work,” O’Connell said. “It’s almost like a sisterhood.”
The team practiced with professional international trainers (also women) from 9:30 to 11 a.m. on Tuesdays and Fridays. This is the third year the team participated in the Goals 4 Life tournament.
“Part of the reason we started to participate in the tournament is so we all have something to work toward,” O’Connell said. “It’s so much fun to watch everyone get better throughout the season, and by the time we get to the tournament, we do well and have a good time for a great charity.”
“They’ve all been so accepting and inviting,” said Pam Brug, whose first season on the team was this spring. “I’m no good at soccer, but I’m learning something new and the women on the team are awesome. I’m sad the season is ending.”
The program began in 2010. It provides local women an opportunity to get out of the gym and learn something, as well as enjoy the competition and camaraderie that comes from playing soccer on a team.
“We try and make sure that everyone has a good time,” added O’Connell. “That’s fundamentally what it comes down to.”
Cara Dowden explained that they continue to work to build the program.
“Anyone is welcome to join us for a free first session so they can try it out and make sure it’s a good fit.” Information about the WSA Women’s Soccer Program, scheduled to start up again in the fall, is available at http://www.westfieldnjsoccer.com/women-s-program. The cost is $99 for an eight-week session.