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BWSL seeks players for upcoming season

BARSTOW • Women who love to play sports often find themselves without a team once they’re done with school. The Barstow Women’s Soccer League has stepped in to help fill that breach.

The league is currently holding registration for its upcoming third season. It was begun three years ago by Yari Cavallo, as Barstow Soccer Liga, with five original teams. When running the league started to become a bit too much for Cavallo to accomodate, she put a note on the league’s Facebook page asking for help. Charlotte Maher, who was a player, volunteered to take it on.

“She gets all the credit for that,” said Maher of Cavallo starting the league. “I’m following in her footsteps.”

Maher is a lifetime resident and soccer fan. As a kid, she grew up playing in the local rec league, and was part of the Lady Aztecs squad at Barstow High School. Like many who enjoy sports, for Maher, after college the opportunity to play dried up, until the BWSL came into existence.

The league is for those of high school age and up. Where the youth leagues leave off, BWSL begins, giving local women a chance to keep playing their favorite sport. All skill levels are welcome, including those who want the exercise but don’t know a lot about the game.

The popularity of the league is growing. The first two years there were five teams, and two have been added so far for this year. A minimum of 11 players are needed, but those who want to play don’t have to form their own team.

“Whole teams can join, but one of the new teams this year was made of single players,” said Maher. “We formed a team with 12 new players who signed up with no team.”

While the Barstow teams play each other during the season, Maher is hoping to alter that this year.

“There’s a women’s league in Victorville we want to play,” she said. “I’m hoping to set up a summer tournament.”

In the meantime, the third season of soccer starts in February. There are three months of regular season, with the top four teams advancing to the playoffs. The members of the champion and runner-up squads will receive a cash prize.

Maher runs the league simply out of love for the sport.

“I don’t make a profit off it. I took over so I could continue to play soccer here in my hometown, something I've loved doing since I was six,” she said. “The registration fee (of $10 per player) fully funds the cash prizes.”

The season begins on Feb. 14 and will run until mid May. Games are Friday nights at the Sportspark, at 6 and 7:30 p.m.

“We’re still accepting sign-ups until January 31. I’d love to have anyone come out,” said Maher. “It’s good for moms especially, a getaway. And we have certified refs, so it’s an actual game.”

For more information, visit the Barstow Women’s Soccer League page on Facebook.

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