Soccer player tells of league experience

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, April 10, 2002

Professional female soccer player Karissa Hampton was in Demopolis Monday to speak to Lynn Boggs’ fourth grade class at U.S. Jones.

Hampton is a member of the San Diego Spirit women’s soccer team that was formed last year after the U.S. won the Women’s Cup soccer tournament. According to Hampton, the players from the Women’s Club came together and organized a women’s professional soccer league and recruited new players from various colleges and draft opportunities. The league was funded by private investors and sponsors to operate for five years initially.

Originally from Washington State, Hampton said she was recruited from her college soccer team at UCLA. The league began playing in March of this year and is currently in the four month off season.

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Hampton’s team finished fifth in the eight team league this year. She said she is still in training and trying to balance school.

While the physical demands from soccer are a source of concern for Hampton she said she has been fortunate to have only sustained one minor injury.

Hampton went to school in Washington State. She said she participated in several soccer tournaments geared toward female players.

Hampton played in the national tournament during her high school years and was part of the winning team.

It’s really important to get some competitive teams started up so these kids don’t miss out on an opportunity. It doesn’t have to end at college," she said.

Hampton was drafted out of college while others were chosen from several combined tryouts in a variety of states. Local television networks cover the women’s games, and some are broadcast on the local cable channel in San Diego.