This weekend marks the unofficial end to the Summer. The start of Fall brings us colorful leaves, cool nights and of course, girls travel soccer. Unless your head has been buried in the sand, you know that the fall season kicks off in just 7 days! Are you ready?
Season Opener Match Ups
Whether you are on the road or not, what better way to kick off the Fall than to head out to the pitch to catch some girls travel soccer? This weekend, we have 5 teams in action and 2 games right here at home. Throw on your maroon and white colors and head on down to the field to cheer us on!
Home Games – Saturday 9/8
- 12:30 PM (Field 2) – 2006 White Wildcats vs Mt. Laurel Rampage
- 2:00 PM (Kurlander) – 2009 White Wildcats vs Vorhees Jaguars
Away Games – Saturday 9/8
- 12:30 PM – 2010 White Wildcats at Maple Shade Lightning
- 1:00 PM – 2007 White Wildcats at Mullica Air Storm
- 3:30 PM – 2008 White Wildcats at Moorestown Quakes
View the complete Wildcat Schedule
Game Day Preparation Tips for Players & Parents
Stop me if you’ve heard this before: “Mom, where are my cleats”?
We’ve all been there. You were supposed to leave 10 minutes ago. Your child has one cleat, unmatched socks and you still need to do her hair. You finally get on the road only to forget something and have to come back home. Sound familiar?
Help! How do I get my kid ready?
Well, ideally, your child is preparing themselves for soccer. After all, we want them to be responsible. However, if we left everything up to the kids, nothing would ever get done. Mom to the rescue.
Before the fall season kicks off, let’s make sure that you have the right supplies and gear for your child. Let’s start with the absolute must-haves. You won’t last long on the soccer field if you don’t have the following:
- White AND Maroon Jersey (wear one / pack one)
- Maroon Socks (worn)
- Black Shorts (worn)
- Water (minimum 2 quarts)
- Shin Guards (worn)
- Cleats (worn)
- Medicine (such as inhaler or Epi-Pen)
- Hair Ties (for hair longer than shoulders)
There is a lot of optional gear to consider
- Sweatshirts / Hoodies / Jackets are almost “must-haves” except you don’t NEED them. But you do need them. Every player should have something to put on to stay warm on the bench. Period.
- Thermal Baselayer Clothing – Every player should have a thermal baselayer to wear. Under Armour Cold Gear is one of the most popular brands, but there are several others out there which are more reasonably priced. Players are allowed to wear baselayer shirts and pants (pants must be under the shorts and socks). Remember that hoodies, sweatshirts and other loose clothing are not allowed on the field during a game. If you do not have a baselayer, you are going to be cold when the temperatures drop.
- Hats & Gloves are allowed as well. They need to be soft (no snaps, zippers, plastic, etc..). The girls can wear these on the field if they want, but they are nice to have when they are sitting on the bench too. Gloves are especially important because fingers are prone to injury when they get cold.
- Warm Up Suits are great to have around as well. These sweatpants / jacket combinations provide just enough protection from the weather to stay warm without over heating. They won’t do much to keep you warm on the bench though.
- Blankets are nice to have to block the wind, rain and cold.
- Having Dry Clothes on hand is a life saver sometimes. It doesn’t take up a lot of space to throw a spare t-shirt in your bag. After a rainy defeat, no one wants to sit in the car in wet clothes for an hour.
- Zip Lock Bags will keep all of your stuff dry. Try getting a couple of gallon size zip lock freezer bags. Put the thermal gear in one. Jerseys in another. Socks in another. In addition to keeping your stuff dry, it also keeps your bag super organized!
- Pre-wrap seems to be the thing that everyone wants but no one ever has. Get some. The kids use it for their hair mostly, but it is very useful stuff to have in your bag. It’s like the duct tape of soccer.
- It’s a good idea to throw a snack in your bag as well, especially if you are a picky eater. Girls travel soccer is intense and you are going to be hungry after your game. Have something small to nibble on so you don’t drive your parents nuts.
- Turf Shoes are not required but some players do prefer them over cleats when on turf. If you are prone to injury (especially in the knees), you should get a pair of turf shoes. Since they have slightly less grip on the surface than traditional cleats, the risk of certain injuries is believed to be reduced when wearing them.
- Medical Gear such as braces, wraps, tape and so on. Every player has unique needs in this area so please bring your own stuff. Note, emergency medical supplies are always on hand.
- Tissues are good to have. There are a lot of runny noses out on the soccer field when the weather cools down.
- A Towel to dry off from the rain or for sweat. It can double as a blanket too.
What should I bring for myself?
Parents often forget to get themselves ready in the rush to get the kids out the door. Don’t forget that once the fall season kicks off, you will be sitting out on that field for hours as well. It’s important that you are ready. Here are some things that parents should bring for themselves.
- Folding Chair(s)
- Mobile phone for TeamSnap alerts and pictures
Putting it all together when the fall season kicks off
Great, you have your items all gathered up. Now what? You might be tempted to simply shove it all in that backpack and be done with it. Please don’t do that. Follow some of our pro tips below to make sure that your child is ready to go in any situation.
Pro Tip #1 – The Zip Lock Bags
Get yourself a dozen gallon size zip lock bags. Label each bag – Jerseys, Socks, Under Armour, Shorts, Practice T’s, Hats/Gloves, etc.. Place your organized items into the zip lock bags, suck the air out of them and zip them up. You now have space saving, weather-proof storage for all of your items. Throw all of the zip lock bags into your soccer backpack and you are ready to go.
Why this is awesome you ask? Three reasons. First, it makes things easy and quick to find inside the backpack. Second, and more importantly, this will reduce the amount of laundry you have to do. The zip lock bags also protect clothing from picking up the wet-grass smell that they otherwise would. Third, it protects your gear from those leaky water bottles.
Pro Tip #2 – The Garbage Bag
Put a 30 gallon garbage bag in your backpack. If it starts to rain, you can throw your whole backpack into the garbage bag to keep it dry. If it doesn’t rain, you could always do some community service and clean up the park.
Pro Tip #3 – Extra Socks
Get extra socks for tournaments. After your first game, if your socks get wet you are looking at blisters if you don’t get out of them. And guess what? It sucks to try to put wet soccer socks back on for that second game. They never go on right and you will get blisters. Having a second pair of dry socks (from your zip lock bag) will be your life saver!