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Yuma Legends adapt to playing soccer in the sand
It doesn't matter whether the Yuma Legends are playing soccer on the field or in the sand — they'll still find a way to win.
The U9 Yuma Legends girls team recently won the 2012 Jammers Memorial Day Invitational in Las Vegas on May 27 and the Soccer in the Sand tournament in San Diego on June 10.
As a first-year team, the Legends considered themselves to be the underdog in Las Vegas. The Legends defeated Heat FC, a team from the Las Vegas area, by a score of 3-2. The game ended in regulation time in a 2-2 tie.
“We actually lost to the team we ended up beating in the championship — they're actually a very well-known in Vegas,” coach Adrienne Leamons said. “It was very, very intense. The girls played the hardest and the best that I've seen them play all year. It was a nice time to peak in the season — it was intense.”
The U9 team capped off their season with the Soccer in the Sand tournament thinking it would be a relaxing and fun way to end their season — but the girls kept their intensity levels just as high as they did in Las Vegas.
In the championship game, the Legends beat a local San Diego team — The Surf — by a score of 3-2 to bring home another title.
“It was beachside, in the sand — completely different game,” Leamons said. “It was six versus six, different rules and it was the first time we've ever done this. We actually went out and practiced three times in the sand here in town at volleyball courts and what not. ...
“Every single girl had a wonderful tournament, they stepped it up. It was very physical game, I've never seen them get thrown around and throw others around on the ground — it was a lot of fun.”
Despite the difficulty of playing soccer in the sand, Legends' player Lizabeth Rubio still enjoyed the experience. The midfielder/defender said she is enjoying the recent success of her team.
“It was my first time playing on the beach and it was kind of more fun. It's kind of fun and there's a lot of work as a team. You can score a lot of goals.”
Rubio's teammate Ariana Leamons agreed, saying that the best part of playing with the club is being able to work as a team. Though their season is over, she said she is looking forward to next season already.
“It's awesome and it's my first time being on a club. It's fun playing with the girls. We get to be positive and we get to have fun with our friends. We can score a lot of goals and we can be happy and win first place.”