WAGS Fortitude Fall 2023

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Referee Mentor Program

USL Impact Sponsorships WAGS Reflections

by Adele Dolansky

Fall 2023

Scholarship Recipients

2023 WAGS Tournament

Mavis Derflinger Coach Education Childcare Grant

Table of Contents 3

WAGS Reflections


2023 WAGS Tournament


Mavis Derflinger Coach Education


Adele Dolansky College Scholarships


Childcare Grant


USL Impact Sponsorship


Referee Mentor Program

by Adele Dolansky

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August, 2023

WAGS REFLECTIONS BY ADELE DOLANSKY Last article, I discussed the initial birth of WAGS—from its conception to its first official league season in the Fall of 1974. But while the foundation for the first competitive all-girls travel soccer league was being laid, in the background, a new association was born in New York City. I would be remiss not to mention its creation, and how it shaped WAGS going forward. In August of 1973, the United States Soccer Federation (USSF) held an annual general meeting, in which a motion was presented to establish a US Youth Soccer Association (USYSA). The following year, the motion was passed, with then-current USSF 5 th VP Don Greer acting as organization’s chairman. From this moment, USYSA was a national organization, and they wasted no time in enforcing their power. My first encounter with the USYSA was at a club meeting at the Annandale Boys Bingo Hall. Around this time, I was acting as the Fairfax Police Youth Club (FPYC) representative. USYSA had sent two representatives to the meeting, Region I Commissioner Henry “Hank” Horn and Trevor Hunt, President of the Eastern Pennsylvania Youth Soccer Association. From the beginning, their intent was clear: they wanted every club team to affiliate with their association. Some club officials believed that they had no need to affiliate their teams with USYSA. They’d been operating viable club programs on their own and were of the mindset that they didn’t need to be a member of a National Organization. However, USYSA was adamant in their request. States Associations were told to register their clubs and leagues with the association, or travel/tournament permissions would be revoked for all teams.

WAGS Reflections This created a chain of command on the state level, where State Associations would ally themselves under the umbrella of the USYSA. Clubs and leagues affiliated with these State Associations, and in turn those associations would pay dues to the USYSA for the right to travel and create their own tournaments. At first, clubs only affiliated their travel teams. However, as time passed, the mandate was reinforced, as unaffiliated teams would be forbidden from participating in national events, such as the National Championship Series (NCS) and the National State Association ODP. Ten years later, 100% affiliation was fully enforced across the country. This directly led to the creation of the Virginia Metropolitan Youth Soccer Association (VMYSA) in the 1975-1976 seasonal year. Due to their teams’ proximity to WAGS, certain Maryland counties were members of the Virginia State Association before branching off in 1976 as the Maryland State Youth Soccer Association (MSYSA). Rael Vodicka was elected Vice-President of VMYSA, and she took on that responsibility for WAGS—making sure that the league was informed and had a voice in the organization. With assurance that WAGS would be represented on the board, Rael and Mavis confidently petitioned their desire to institute a girls’ soccer program in high schools. The two carried this cause at Fairfax County High School meetings, and with the support of VMYSA, as well as their ceaseless determination, junior varsity and varsity girls’ soccer program became an official high school sport sometime between the spring of 1977 and 1978. Renewed and empowered by the creation of the USYSA, and with one of the Founders sitting as the Vice President of the VMYSA, WAGS was able to seamlessly weave itself into the roots of girls’ soccer in the Northern Virginia area. As the spring seasons of 1975-76 began, clubs new and old joined the league, and new people took over the helm behind the scenes. WAGS Spring 1975 Season Clubs: Annandale, Bladensburg, Bowie, Braddock Road, Camp Springs, Fairfax Police, Great Falls, Vienna, and Virginia Hills. On Colombus Weekend in October of 1975, the Founders held a tournament that would go on to become an annual event for WAGS in the coming years. The goal was to put WAGS’ best against the nation’s best, and included out-of-town teams from Canada, New Jersey, Eastern Pennsylvania, and Maryland.

WAGS Reflections

Tournament Chair: Ron Vodicka # of Teams: 39 14 out-of-town teams Canadian Clubs: St.Andrews, Amourdale, Don Mills New Jersey Clubs: Bricktown, Point Pleasant, Tom’s River, Wall and Dover Eastern Penn Clubs: Enfield Maryland Clubs: Baltimore 25 WAGS Teams Annandale Boys Club, Bladensburg SC, Bowie Soccer Association, Bowie Boys Club, Braddock Road Youth Club, Camp Springs, Fairfax Police Youth Club, Great Falls Soccer Association, Little River SC, Mclean Youth, Springfield Boys Club, Vienna Youth Soccer Club, and Virginia Hills 1976 WAGS Spring Season Officers: Polly Phillips (President), Marie Steckman (Secretary), Lonnie Fisher (Treasurer and Registrar), Jon Blake (Rules and Discipline). Spring 1976 was my WAGS debut. My FPYC 76’ers played in the 1965 division. As the FPYC representative, I attended every WAGS meeting after affiliation. It was these meetings where I first met and befriended Rael and Mavis. All three of us shared the same passion for girls’ soccer, and what it could be if given the same opportunities that the boys had. This passion would bring us all together, along with an unforeseen crisis that none of us had predicted… Stay Tuned for the Next Chapter: Rael to the rescue! How a sudden move affected the future of WAGS, and what Rael taught me about leadership.

Adele Dolansky

2023 WAGS Tournament Our Singular Funding Source

Our WAGS Tournament is one of the top all girls events in the nation. Since 1975, our annual tournament brings teams from all across the United States and Canada to play in U9 to U19 brackets. There are National, Regional, and State Champions in attendance! Girls on the U16 to U19 teams play on multi-field complexes throughout the tournament where they can highlight their talents on the field in showcase games, giving college coaches the opportunity to scout for their next collegiate superstar.

We were extremely excited to announce that Upper90HQ live streamed all games on our feature fields of Publix VA Training Center Fields 5 and 6, at no cost to participating teams, players, coaches, and parents. We also offered full filming of games for our U16-U19 showcase teams. View Here!

The WAGS Tournament partners with Own The Goal: Elite Goalkeeper Training (OTG) to offer a Goalkeeper Recruiting Exhibition for goalkeepers U15 – U19 participating in the annual WAGS Rael Vodicka Tournament. In game situations, goalkeepers typically have limited opportunities to show the range of skills necessary to succeed at the next level. The Goalkeeper Recruiting Exhibition is designed to ensure your goalkeeper has the chance to demonstrate their abilities.

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States Represented

Games Played

College Scholarships from you! See pages 10-11 for more details More Pictures Referee Mentor Program See page 16 for more details


WAGS would like to honor the many women who have continued to follow their love for the beautiful game. Whether you played in the WAGS Tournament growing up, or are looking for a new chance to compete, we are proud to be offering the WAGS Legacy Division.

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Mavis Derflinger Coach Education We cannot be more excited to announce our coaching education programming is now named MAVIS DERFLINGER Coaching Education. Mavis Derflinger was a WAGS CoFounder and women's soccer pioneer. Derflinger began her soccer career when she coached a girls team in Lee-Mt. Vernon (1969). She teamed with Rael Vodicka in the early 1970's to form the Washington Area Girls Soccer League (WAGS) where she served as Treasurer. Derflinger was elected the President of the Virginia Youth Soccer Association (VYSA) and was named the Region I Director for United States Youth Soccer Association (USYSA) by the mid-1970's. She became the first female Board member of the US Soccer Federation (USSF) in the early 1980's and in 1986 was elected Chairman of US Youth Soccer, which put her on the USSF Executive Committee. In 1994 Derflinger, along with Betty D'Anjolell, took the first team, an under 19 team, to travel outside the US. The team played in Iceland, Germany, Norway and Holland. Mavis was the Head of Delegation for the First Women's Team to travel overseas when they played in competition in Jessolo Italy and was Head of Delegation for the U19 team in competition in Varga, Bulgaria. Derflinger fought tirelessly for funding for the US Women's program and sees the US Women's development as one of her proudest achievements. USSF voted her a "Life Member" in 1990. She received the Sporting Goods Manufacturers of America "National Heroes Award" in 1995 for her dedication to soccer in the local communitv. In 2004, Mavis was the first woman inducted into the CONCACAF Hall of Fame. She was a tremendous advocate for women's soccer, and while she has passed, her legacy lives on.

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Breaking News WAGS along with NJYS will have an All Female C License fully sponsored by WAGS kicking off in 2024. Watch for updates.

New Jersey Youth Soccer


Women and Girls in Soccer awards four $10,000 college scholarships to empower and support the exceptional female soccer athlete to play at the collegiate level. Applicants must be rostered and playing on a team accepted and playing in the WAGS Rael Vodicka Annual Soccer Tournament held annually in October. WAGS will award four scholarships to players who meet the stated criteria, who excel in a broad variety of extracurricular activities and who demonstrate active participation in community service. WAGS is looking for individuals who embrace the qualities and characteristics necessary to play on an elite soccer team and who apply these qualities to her daily life. Submissions are being accepted now through February 12th, 2024 Congratulations to our 2023 recipients on this well-deserved award, we wish you good luck in your next chapter. WAGS is honored to help women and girls reach their goals through soccer.

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Qualifications: Applicants must be 17-19 years of age A minimum 3.7 GPA A commitment to play soccer in college Applicants do not need to be a U.S. citizen

2023 Scholarship Recipients

Payton Walker, Ava Martin, Adele Dolansky, Abigail Watson and Caitlyn Guarino

Ava Marvin

Caitlyn Guarino

Abigail Watson

played for Space Coast United RL G05/04 in Florida and will attend and play for Washington and Lee University in the fall.

played for 05 (18U) JASA Coastal Surge Blk G in North Carolina and will attend and play for Centre College in the fall.

Payton Waller

played for Jordan Lake Futbol Club, JLFC Elite 05G in North Carolina and will attend and play for Gettysburg College in the fall.

played for TSJ FC Virginia 04/05G GA and will attend and play for College of William and Mary in the fall.

Childcare Grant Scholarship Amounts Grant Scholarship amounts of up to $1,200 each

Grant Requirements Licensed Coach Actively coaching a team Rostered active SemiPro player Need Based

Childcare Grant Application

Women and Girls in Soccer has announced the first-of-its-kind WAGS Childcare Grant; an $80,000 fund to be distributed to individual female coaches and semi-pro players to help them stay in the game. Women and Girls in Soccer is awarding up to a $1,200 Childcare Grant per recipient, committing $80,000 to empower and support women in soccer for which affording childcare can be a barrier to their ability to stay in the game. Applicants must be a female licensed coach or semi-pro player competing in Fall 2023 and/or Spring 2024. The grant will be awarded to female coaches of all levels and female semi-pro players based on the WAGS Childcare Grant application process.

Special Thank you to “#MomsWhoCoach“ Initiative for inspiring us to find a way to make an impact.

More about the Women Coaches Community

Keeping Mothers in the Game! Moms spoke, WAGS listened. Lula Bauer, WAGS Chairwoman stated, “We’ve been hearing from highly skilled coaches that childcare costs are one barrier to moms staying in the game. We know women who feel supported are more likely to stay in the game. That’s why WAGS is so honored to be able to support and empower these brilliant, hard-working moms all over the country by offering the first-of-itskind WAGS Childcare Grant.” Lula, a seasoned soccer coach and mom of three, also noted “Having these funds when I was raising my boys would have been a game changer, it could have helped me bring my child-care provider and my boys to practices and games with me!” WAGS has received applications from across the country since the May 8th launch and we look forward to supporting many women with this grant.

USL Update From Florida Team

The WAGS sponsorship has allowed us to help establish and strengthen development standards for our girls by enabling us to provide the necessary investment in resources. We've been able to incorporate professional high performance tools into our programming from technology like Catapult and Playermaker, to training aides like Techne Futbol, to professional management systems like Bridge Athletics and Kitman Labs. Ashlee Fontes, THL Reckoning Founder/CEO

Upcoming Events Weekend of Dec 16/17 we are holding our first Open ID session for TLH Reckoning W League team and other playing/training programs Interested players and top talent of all ages should submit their interest here. The Reckoning

USL Update From Virginia Team WAGS has been instrumental in supporting the players on the Marauders team this year. With the WAGS sponsorship and support, our players received post practice and game nutrition, weekly performance training, injury prevention, training equipment and provided players from many different backgrounds an opportunity to train and play in a professional environment. The WAGS Partnership also helps local international players stay soccer fit to represent their country WAGS continues to lead the way in supporting the growth of women's soccer on and off the field. Programs such as scholarships, referee education, coaching education, and child care grants are just some of the ways WAGS is supporting teams and players. Upcoming Events The Marauders will compete in the FWSA Pine Ridge tournament this weekend and will host tryouts at 12pm on Nov 25th for the 2024 USL W league season.

Referee Mentor Program The WAGS Tournament prides itself on hosting the incredible Referee Mentor program. The program is in attendance to oversee the referees at our showcase fields throughout the weekend. The Mentors provide feedback to the referees during halftime and at the end of their scheduled matches. The ref mentor program at the WAGS Tournament adds a unique aspect to our goal of improving the quantity and quality of female referees. We are proud to support the Referee Mentor Program and the mission of helping all referees grow and improve.

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Here are some of the incredible mentors we are so proud to have at our event. Full List

Our Mission is to empower Women to reach their goals in soccer. We strive to elevate and make women feel valued. Our WAGS Tournament has been serving women since 1975 and is our funding source that makes it all possible.

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