Grand Park, Westfield – Indiana. Sunday, June 4th, 2023. Indiana Adult Soccer hosted the annual Lauren Holiday Cup on Sunday June 4th, 2023, at Grand Park, Westfield, Indiana. The 2023 Indiana Soccer State Finals match featured two CIWSL teams, the White Team & The Black Team, with the black coming out on top 5 – 4, thus capturing the Lauren Holiday Cup.
The Central Indiana Women’s Soccer League players showcase game was a celebration of adult soccer and athletes who continue to play soccer at a high level. While the showcase game was played, the fields surrounding the adult game featured the best of the best of youth players battling to determine which team would be state champions of their age group.
Each one of the players in the adult showcase game can remember their last ‘official’ competitive soccer game of their career. The CIWSL strives to provide women who do not want to retire after their high school, college, or professional soccer careers a place to continue to play.
“I could not help but notice the skill of the young girls who were playing in the youth games around us and know very well the hours of practice and skills training that it took for them to be in those championship games. Within just five to eight years, most of them will be playing their last high school or college game, but they’ll still have those soccer skills. Those skills will stay with them for life. I overheard some of the passersby commenting on the showcase game, “This must be a college game.” Actually, several of the players on the field were over 40. Almost all of them were several years out of college. They are doctors, lawyers, accountants, school teachers, mothers . . . all women who have stayed dedicated to their health and fitness and are able to continue to play at a very high level.” stated Jody Toth with CIWSL.
The adult women soccer showcase game has become an annual event in celebration of women who continue to play the beautiful game of soccer; still showcasing play at a high level after their high school, college, or professional careers conclude. Despite the friendly nature of the game, the competition is extremely intense and very entertaining to watch.
“Our vision for the Adult Soccer program in Indiana is to promote, grow and elevate our game. The ladies played well and I couldn’t ask for anything else. I saw more composure with the ball, passing was phenomenal. It’s entertaining to watch. They put on an excellent display of women’s soccer in Indiana.” stated John Mitchell – Director of Adult Soccer Indiana.
For the first time in the history of the cup, the Indiana Adult Women Soccer League was honored to have three professional young women officiate the game – Dana Hackney, Emily Carter, and Noelle Hopper.
“Hat’s off to our very professional young referee crew at yesterday’s Showcase game. We support you 100% and can’t wait to see your careers take off as you climb the ladder to the biggest stage”, stated one of the players.
The Lauren Holiday Cup is dedicated to Lauren Holiday, an Indiana Soccer Hall of Famer. She played at the highest level, including the USA Women’s National Team.
Jill Ellis, US Soccer Women’s National Team Coach called Lauren, “possibly the best soccer player ever to come out of Indiana and one of the best-ever to come out of the Midwest. She surely has earned a place among all the world class players who have played for the United States During the team’s long history of success.”
To learn more about Lauren Holiday, please follow this link:
What makes the trophy special is the fact that many of the players played with Lauren Holiday when they were younger.
“It was great experience officiating the Adult Women’s game with an all-female crew watching these ladies do their thing.” stated Emily Carter – Indiana Soccer Referee
“Each one of the women playing in the showcase can remember their last “competitive” soccer game of their career. The CIWSL strives to provide women who do not want to retire after their high school, college, or professional soccer careers a place to continue to play”. Stated one of the players.
“It’s wonderful to have the opportunity to walk around and see the different cups & games; to see young girls 8, 9, & 10 years old playing soccer, who have a chance to walk over and see some of the best adults we have in Indiana. These young girls get a chance to watch these women who are so technically and tactically sound, and who are so skilled at ball placement. They get to watch women show patience and maturity of play which is remarkable to watch.” stated Dave Guthrie – Executive Director, Indiana Soccer Association
It is worth noting that Indiana has at least 274 high schools that have girls soccer programs. On average at least four seniors graduate each year and become ‘women’ players. That is 1,096 players per year.
Yet, the state, as well as most states across the US, struggle to put together organized women’s soccer leagues. Women are pulled away with so many other duties and commitments that finding time and a place that fits their schedule for play is difficult.
Data indicates that women will be out of the game for gaps of time when they have a baby or advance their careers through night classes. Sometimes getting back into soccer shape after that is intimidating.
So, the CIWSL has created play sessions that are geared toward easing players back into soccer fitness. The club is also trying to create spots to play that work with women’s schedules (Friday Lunch League). The hope is to provide first time players a place to learn the game and also provide the very top athletes with a fast moving, skilled game that they can enjoy. Soccer is like a flying chess game. The game keeps the players fit for life!
The CIWSL would like to thank Indiana Soccer for supporting the league as well as The Lauren Holiday Cup showcase game, which is special to many players in the league. Not only is the game a great showcase of the players and talent, but also many of these players either played with Lauren Cheney Holiday or against her when they were growing up.
Special thanks to Indiana Soccer Association & Indiana Soccer Referees for their support of the female referees. The Lauren Holiday Game featured three young professional female referees who called our showcase game and that was symbolic of ISA’s dedication to developing young referee talent, BOTH male and female.