Fans of the beautiful game have a new team to support in the Lowcountry, but the chances to see them this summer are dwindling.
The Beaufort County FC franchise of the Women’s Premier Soccer League kicked off its inaugural season earlier this month, playing home games at Hilton Head Prep with a roster loaded with local talent.
“I’m pleased with them,” said manager Mike Haughton. “It’s all going in the right direction.”
The team is 2-3 on the season after suffering a tough 3-2 loss to the visiting Charleston Fleet last Saturday but has plenty of chances to move up the table, beginning this weekend with the final two home fixtures of the season.
BCFC will host the Greensboro Lady Dynamo at 6 p.m. Saturday before taking on Oak City United at 2 p.m. Sunday in the final home match of the year.
Among the squad’s 21 players are a number of names local soccer fans would recognize, including former Hilton Head Island High School stars Ashley and Amanda Green and Claudia and Estelle Murphy. Former Bluffton High School standout Jillian Koves also is on the roster, as is Heritage Academy student and Tormenta FC standout Abi Brighton.
Others include players from colleges throughout the state, including a trio from North Greenville University and two from Spartanburg Methodist College, as well as a trio of players from Mississippi College.
The long-term goal is to create an academy program to develop local players and help them find places to play collegiate soccer in hopes they will return each summer to play for the WPSL team, Haughton said.
In the meantime, the club is seeking sponsors within the community to help build the foundation and provide the players with a first-class experience.
“We need the community supporting a bit,” Haughton said. “Sponsorships, no matter how big or small, are something we’re always looking for to cover expenses and make the girls’ lives easier and better for the summer while they are here.”