By Jill Fox
Despite being shut down multiple times during the course of the season, Parkland recreational soccer team “The Storm” won the 13U girls championship.
Made up of 11 to 13-year-old girls, most of whom attend Westglades Middle School, “The Storm” won in a shootout on Saturday at Pine Trails Park.
Robert Lopez coached the team, which included his daughter, Sienna, for the fourth season, which began in October.
“What I loved the most was seeing the girls progress and finding joy and love for the sport,” said Lopez.
Playing soccer amid the pandemic dramatically affected the players, as the division was shut down three times at different points in the season, and the girls had to quarantine.
“I think it makes their achievement even more impressive considering they were on and off the field very frequently,” said Lopez. “But, each time, the girls came back excited and ready to go.”
In addition to training “The Storm” with assistants Rob Pulsifer and Jeff Backman, Lopez also coached his two younger daughters’ soccer teams, one of which won the 9U division – “The Highlighters.”
Having had the opportunity to coach all ages, Lopez said his favorite thing was watching the team come together as a group and supporting each other as the season went on.
“It’s 100 percent about the girls,” said Lopez. “I am just happy I got to watch the experience and be a small part of their achievement.”
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- Jill Fox is an Emmy Award-winning writer and producer. She has worked on the public relations side as well as the television side of marketing for NBC Universal. A true Floridian, Fox grew up in Ormond Beach and now resides in Parkland with her husband, Brian and their two children, Madden, 11 and Randi, 7.
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