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World Cup win inspires local soccer players

T-R PHOTOS BY SARA JORDAN-HEINTZ Local soccer players said women have proven themselves to be just as capable as men. Left to right: Aubrie Tejada, Stefani Gutierrez and Tarryn Bell.

Earlier this week, the USA defeated the Netherlands to win the 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup. It was the fourth World Cup championship for Team USA. Women all over the world, including Marshalltown Area Soccer Club players, excitedly watched the competition.

“It was a big deal because they set a new record in how many goals they scored, so that was really cool,” local player Tarryn Bell, 14, said.

Bell said her favorite player is Megan Rapinoe, but she also likes Alex Morgan.

“Megan is a really good striker and it’s cool to see someone that good,” Bell said.

Local player Stefani Gutierrez, 12, has been playing soccer for the past eight years.

Members of the Marshalltown Area Soccer Club watched the recent FIFA Women’s World Cup, saying they find the players inspiring.

“My dad has always loved soccer, so when I was about 4 or 5 I got on a team and it grew from there,” she said.

Teammate Aubrie Tejada, 13, said this World Cup win may help people respect female soccer players more.

“I think that you should be proud to be a girl that plays soccer, because they don’t get a lot of respect, but with the win it will help more,” Tejada said.

Tejada plays left forward, noting that, “It’s challenging because people expect you to be really good,” she said with a laugh. “There’s a lot of pressure because they expect you to get the ball in the net. It challenges you to be better each time you practice.”

Even more important than the big win, are the friendships that develop.

“It’s an open environment and you make friends,” Bell said. “I know a ton of girls by name now I never would have before. They’re awesome people.”

MASC Club President Jeff Bell said the USA women’s team win is a positive thing.

“I think it’s awesome to see the inspiration that comes from these women and how they’ve grown through the sport and made it what it is today,” he said. “They made their statement, and my daughter (Tarryn) has learned from that and seen that she has a future, that athletics is something women can do.”

The three girls all said they like to play against boys during scrimmages.

“It’s fun. It’s a competition, but we’re all the same. We’re all equal. We’re friends,” Bell said.

The MASC Club is a 501(3)c nonprofit, founded in 1980. It offers recreational and competitive soccer opportunities for the young people of Marshalltown and surrounding areas.

Its spring soccer season just wrapped. There were 326 males registered and 120 females registered, with a total of 13 competitive coed traveling soccer teams, of which four were girls-only teams.

To learn more, visit www.mascsoccer.org.

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Contact Sara Jordan-Heintz at 641-753-6611 or sjordan@timesrepublican.com