MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – Only eight days stand between the West Virginia University women’s soccer team and the first day of the 2014 preseason camp. Though the Mountaineers are busy pushing forward to camp, brushing up on their skills and fitness, they also are looking for fun outlets to enjoy their last days of summer.
A group of four Mountaineers, along with assistant coach Marisa Kanela, broke away from training and work today to meet with athletes from Morgantown’s SteppingStones, a non-profit recreational center for children and adults with disabilities.
The group gathered at Dreamswork Field for an afternoon filled with games, laughter and fun. Highlights included a tour of the practice facility and competitive juggling competitions.
“I really loved working with the athletes from SteppingStones,” said junior Maggie Bedillion
. “It’s so nice to just have fun with a group that enjoys soccer and to get away from the preseason work. I had a great day with them!”
Today was a reunion for three Mountaineers, as seniors Katie Osterman
, Ali Connelly
and Kate Schwindel
spent time with many of the athletes at the Special Olympics Summer Games in Charleston in early June.
“Today was such a cool experience because we were able to catch up with some of our friends from June,” said Osterman. “It was fun to play soccer with them at Dreamswork and to put a smile on their faces.”
“I thought it was nice to see how excited they all were to see our facility and everything it has to offer,” echoed Schwindel. “The smile on their faces said it all – they had so much fun with us in such a short time. They didn’t want to leave, and we didn’t want to see them go.”
As Connelly explains, the Mountaineers’ trophies seemed to impress the group the most.
“They loved going into our locker room and looking at our trophies; I think that was their favorite part,” she explained. “We had so much fun playing games, too. It’s always nice to just have fun with soccer and new friends.”
At the end of the day, each athlete from SteppingStones was given a signed 2014 WVU women’s soccer schedule poster. The gift-giving did not end there.
“The best part from today was having the SteppingStones athletes sign their names on a poster for us,” Osterman enthused. “That really meant a lot to us, and the poster is now hanging up in the Dreamswork locker room. We all left with smiles on our faces, too.”