Written by Nic Fraraccio
The Harding women’s soccer team hosted an indoor soccer tournament Saturday, April 22, to raise money for a local charity.
Eleven teams participated in the tournament which included pool play and playoff rounds. The winner of the tournament received the option to choose which charity receives the total money raised. Várzea Futebol Clube (FC) defeated The Old Guys in penalty kicks to win the championship game.
Várzea FC only lost one game in the group stage before winning three straight to win the championship. Team Cookout defeated Várzea FC 3-1 in the first group stage match for Group B.
A variety of teams participated in the tournament held at the Hatcher Indoor Complex. Three high school teams were represented in the tournament. The Harding men’s track and tennis teams were represented on two different teams.
Várzea FC consisted of Harding soccer alumni and former members from other college soccer teams. Team Cookout and The Old Guys gathered members from the Harding men’s soccer team to participate in the tournament.
Junior Tyler Sterbenz, a member of Team Cookout, said he enjoyed the event and hopes the event will be continued in the future.
“It’s the first time they’ve ever done something like that in the time I’ve been here,” Sterbenz said. “I thought it was good to see outside soccer players get together and kick the ball around. It’s a good way to raise money for charity and just have fun with the sport because I know in America it’s not really a highly sought-after sport.”
Freshmen Talia Walsh and Whitney Thomas, two members of the Harding women’s soccer team, were in attendance to help coordinate the event on Saturday. Walsh said the tournament ran smoothly, and she was happy to meet players from multiple teams throughout the day.
“I definitely got closer to a lot more people at this event,” Walsh said. “I think it’s a good way of getting our school together because sports are so grouped off.”
Thomas said she would love to see more people at the event next year because it is a fun way to try something new.
“It’s a good way to interact with different sports and the Harding community,” Thomas said. “It’s just a chance to have fun and do something that maybe you wouldn’t usually do.”
Várzea FC has not confirmed which charity will receive the winnings from the tournament. The Harding women’s soccer team plans to host the tournament again during the 2023-24 school year, with the possible addition of an all-women’s tournament.