Worcester Smiles Football Club helps central Massachusetts women lace up their shoes and play high-level football after college.

“It’s the chance of a lifetime,” said Jen Harding. “There aren’t many college athletes who can say they kept playing. As part of this organization, it is a fantastic idea that they have put together. “

What you need to know

  • Worcester Smiles is made up of former college stars and emerging stars
  • You play in the United Women’s Soccer League, and more than 100 teams have signed professional contracts
  • They end the season on July 10th at Foley Field

The semi-pro team plays in the United Women’s Soccer League. It’s a second chance for players like Katie Bottis. She says she was sidelined with injuries for part of her college career.

“I mean, I have the feeling that my injuries were long gone,” said Bottis. “So it feels good to be back.”

The team travels the northeast for games. Coach JP Galicia says the league has a lot of talent. Almost 100 women who have played in the UWS have signed professional contracts.

“The opportunity to play at the highest level is still there because this is like the feeder league for professionals,” said Galicia.

Liz Anderson says it’s not just a chance to play, it’s a chance to be a role model.

“We can show kids what you can do, see what you can,” said Anderson. “You know, you don’t even have to be in college. You can leave college and play anyway. If you love the game, if that’s your passion, you can still play it. “

Meanwhile, some Smiles are still in college saying this will help them prepare for their upcoming seasons. The Smiles couldn’t have a season last year due to COVID-19.

“I thought it was a great experience to play in the summer and keep my touch and things like that,” said Alexandra Baltas.

The Smiles will close their year on July 10th with a home game at Foley Stadium.