The Lady Demize will be introducing a provisional Women’s Premier Soccer League (WPSL) team for the Summer of 2018 to compete in the heartland conference as the Springfield Lady Demize WPSL. With the help of local colleges and high schools, the first Minor League women’s soccer team in Southwest Missouri will showcase the talent of the region’s bright, young players. A collaboration of players from the surrounding Universities of Missouri State University, Evangel University, Drury University, Missouri Southern State University, and Southwest Baptist University will rally together to compete at the highest amatuer level in this minor league setting. Coaches from each of these Universities have supported the formation of this team with astounding interest. Head Coach of the Women’s team at Southwest Baptist University, Megan Link says, “I am excited for the women collegiate athletes in this area to have an opportunity to train and grow over the summer in a competitive environment. It will be fun to watch this program grow in the coming years and I am excited to be a part of it.” Not only will each coach be providing players to the team, but also will be investing time and effort to the coaching of the team.
John Markey, the Executive Director of Lake Country Soccer Complex, and Bruce Deaton, Head Coach of the Women’s team at Evangel University, will be spearheading the coaching staff of the Springfield Lady Demize as co-coaches. John Markey has been coaching at all levels for over thirty years. He has coached both men and women, and has attained multiple state championships in his time. Coach Markey has a US Soccer Federation B License and has utilized his vast knowledge at the US National Developmental Academy. His high level of soccer expertise is extremely apparent and will provide a great foundation of which to build the team upon. John Markey is excited about this opportunity and has the following to say it, “The biggest thing is that women’s soccer needs to be recognized, so that young girls can connect with the college level players. We want to grow the girls side of soccer in Springfield, MO.” Bruce Deaton has led the task of creating and building the women’s and men’s teams at Evangel from the ground up. Currently, both programs have recently finished their third full seasons in the NAIA, improving with each progressing season. Coach Deaton has also been awarded his US Soccer Federation B license, as well as his Premier Diploma. “I am excited to work with the Lady Demize WPSL team. I always enjoy working with a high level of players, and the local players are full of quality” says Coach Deaton. With a high caliber cast of experienced coaches, bolstered with the professional grade of Demize coaching and staff, the Demize WPSL is destined to formulate a strong foundation this year for the team to build upon and progress from in the future years.
For the Summer of 2018, the Demize WPSL will be a provisional team. By being considered provisional, Demize will compete in a limited schedule against other WPSL teams, but will not be competing for the playoffs in the 2018 Heartland conference. With the goal of full-fledged membership prepared for the Summer of 2019, the goal of the Lady Demize WPSL will be to create a female-centered fan base and awareness for the community. The Lady Demize is providing local female players, ages 17- 24, with the opportunity to play at the highest levels of soccer, while still retaining there collegiate eligibility during the summer months. Alf Bilbao, coach of the Women’s team at Drury University, states that, “The local players have a unique opportunity to train and play matches against quality opponents which will help in their preparations for the college season.”
What is the WPSL?
The WPSL is the largest Women’s soccer league in the world, with almost 120 teams competing across 17 divisions between the US, Puerto Rico, and Canada. 2017 marked the 20th Anniversary of the WPSL in which those years they have accomplished multiple goals of progression, expansion, and improvement. Considered the second level of women’s soccer in the US, playing in the WPSL is only one step away from becoming a full professional in the NWSL or abroad overseas.
Tryout for the Lady Demize WPSL!
Tryouts for the Lady Demize WPSL team will be held Saturday, May 12, 2018 at Lake Country Soccer Complex Cooper 1 field. Follow the Demize programs on Facebook and be checking demizesoccer.com for further updates and information.