For some young players, this past weekend was a first-time chance to meet Montrose girls soccer athletes before showing off their own abilities.
This opportunity to play the game for a couple of days was thanks to the Lady Indians 4v4 tournament, held Friday and Saturday at the Montrose Field House.
The tournament, with age divisions starting in third-grade and going up through adults, was a fundraiser for the Montrose girls soccer program’s upcoming season.
Senior Jasmine Marquez said she’s glad she and her teammates had the chance for the young players to check out the game.
“It’s great to give other kids this kind of opportunity. We didn’t grow up with this opportunity. But helping other kids have the advantage to compete against each other and create a bond with another team is really great,” said Marquez, who’s a captain on the girls soccer team.
The indoor turf field was split in half as two games went on simultaneously, which also created fast-paced, high-scoring contests. This was seen by a packed Field House crowd as attendees filled the bleachers, leading to standing room only for viewers watching the action unfold.
This tournament has grown since its inaugural competition held last year. It was such a draw this year that the Lady Indians had to expand the competition to two days from one.
It also was the first time that a high school and a third- fourth-grade girls division was added.
Having young players in the mix, as well as zero chance to practice before the competition, allowed a few of the high school athletes to give the young players a few pointers before they competed, Marquez said.
The tournament took quite a bit of work. The high school players had to ensure every team was included and able to play over the weekend, as well as have enough opponents for each age division.
But that wasn’t always a problem: The adult league had eight teams take the pitch, said Montrose soccer coach Cassie Snyder.
This tournament has a regional appeal as teams came from Gunnison, Crested Butte, Salida, Ridgway and Grand Junction
Snyder credited her players’ role in the tournament, saying they helped advertise the event leading up to the competition. Then, they did almost everything from admissions to referee during the tournament.
“They’re jumping in and helping out all day whether they're scheduled or not,” Snyder said.
Andrew Kiser is the Montrose Daily Press sports/business writer. Follow him on Twitter@andrew_kpress.