UMD women’s soccer team kicks for a good cause

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The UMD women’s soccer team opened up their season with a 3-0 victory over Wisconsin Parkside on Aug. 31 at James S. Malosky Stadium. During the game, the team partnered with Life House to begin the 2017 Kicks for Causes fundraiser.

Ashley Alletto, marketing and events intern at UMD, said that designated home games for the women’s soccer team have been used to give student athletes a chance to get involved in the community and help raise awareness for charities of their choice.

“They typically have their upperclassmen pick an organization that they have a family connection to, that they volunteered with or just something that really means something to them,” she said. “Then the players do the reach out, which I think is a really awesome connection.”

UMD soccer’s involvement in the community is something that Alletto says is unique and special to the university.

“I’ve worked with other schools before and I’ve never gotten to work with a team that did something like this,” she said. “I think it’s a really unique way to give back to the community and to show that community service is a huge part of the UMD athletic department.”

Junior defender Lizzy Fontes from Apple Valley, Minn. was tasked with picking the first organization for the 2017 Kicks for Causes campaign. While the search for an organization took a while, she eventually chose Life House, a local non-profit organization that helps homeless and street youth. Fontes fell in love with Life House immediately.

“At first it was kind of hard because a lot of the players did something that was really personal to them if they’ve had family members or they have the condition themselves,” she said. “I kind of had to brainstorm a little more, but I basically wanted something that was non-profit and for a good cause, so when I ran into Life House it was kind of a no-brainer.”

Fontes said that Kicks for Causes is not the only charitable work that the soccer team does throughout the year. The team volunteers with the Salvation Army Adopt a Family program and Laura MacArthur Elementary School. Fontes said that her previous experiences with the soccer program’s charitable work helped her decide on Life House.

“The youth part right away kind of attracted me to Life House. After working with them at Laura MacArthur and Adopt a Family, it makes me appreciate all the things that we take for granted sometimes,” she said. “Even just the smallest thing like hanging out with them and spending your time with them really makes a difference.”

Overall, Alletto was happy with how last Thursday’s event turned out.

“I do feel like it was a pretty successful day,” she said. “Even if you didn’t go to the game and donate directly, I think just bringing that awareness that the charities are here and that you can help is successful.”

The next Kicks for Causes fundraiser will take place on Sept. 12 against St. Cloud State to raise money and awareness for rheumatoid arthritis

SportsTyler Schendel