Vail Valley women’s soccer team takes field
Vail, CO Colorado
VAIL VALLEY, Colorado – Kaselyn Butters is willing to drive two hours to practice with the new Lady Freedom Football Club based in Colorado’s Vail Valley.
“With these games you can really get better technically because the speed of the game is so intense,” said the 20-year-old Palisade resident, who plays soccer for Mesa State College in Grand Junction.
The new semi-professional soccer team in town has attracted all types of female talent.
Several months after the men’s Freedom team formed in Edwards, the female version is gearing up for its first Professional Arena Soccer League-Premier game.
The girls’ first game is set for June 5 in Ft. Collins against the Lady Fury team. Locals can check out the girls’ first home game at 6 p.m. y June 12 at the Edwards field house.
Fans don’t have to try hard to find talent on the field. The girls’ coach is Kristin Luckenbill, a 2004 Olympic gold medalist (she’s temporarily in New Jersey playing for a professional soccer team while Matt Zaremba fills in as head coach).
Most of the 20 girls who made the Western Eagle County Metropolitan Recreation District Freedom team in April are stars of their high school teams, college soccer players and ex-college players.
For Heather Zaimes, 28, the team offered an opportunity to play competitive soccer post college.
“I’ve played soccer my whole life so I was excited there was going to be an all-female team in the valley,” she said.
Zaimes, a teacher for The Youth Foundation’s Magic Bus program, played on the soccer team at Vassar College.
She hopes that local girls who are just getting started playing soccer will come to the Freedom games and find there are girls in the area they can look up to. While boys are often expected to be good soccer players, girls can be overlooked, she said.
“People don’t expect them to be good soccer players but they’ll come out and see that girls can be good soccer players,” Zaimes said.
Representing the high school talent is 16-year-old Haille Hogfeldt from Edwards. She plays varsity soccer for Battle Mountain High School. She hopes to one day play Division I soccer in college, and thinks the Freedom team will be good training.
“A lot of the players are Division 1 players,” she said. “The indoor games are fast. It’s pretty cool. It’s an opportunity that not a lot of people have had.”
Staff Writer Sarah Mausolf can be reached at 970-748-2928 or firstname.lastname@example.org.