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UWA to add women’s soccer team

LIVINGSTON — The University of West Alabama announced Tuesday that it will add a women’s soccer program, beginning play fall 2011.

“We are absolutely thrilled to be adding the exciting sport of women’s soccer to our varsity athletics’ package here at UWA,” said Director of Athletics Dr. E. J. Brophy. “The popularity of women’s soccer is very high in the southeast, and we look forward to competing in the always challenging Gulf South Conference. We will hire a coach this August and hit the ground running on recruiting and planning for the soccer program.”

The program is one that the university has studied for quite some time, according to Brophy.

“We’ve been talking about it for several years now,” Brophy said. We think its a good move. The timing just seemed right.”

Brophy alluded to the fact that women’s soccer was on his wish list when he accepted the AD post in Livingston four years ago.

“You get to a new job and you make a list of 1,000 things you want to do and you work to that end,” Brophy said. “Women’s soccer is big in the Southeast.”

The addition of women’s soccer figures to bring yet another element to a West Alabama athletic department that already offers basketball, cross country, rodeo, softball, tennis and volleyball for its female student-athletes.

“Anytime you bring 20 young ladies to your campus that are going to have high GPAs and high performance on the field, it can only be positive,” Brophy said.

The timing of the move ties in closely with the enhancements to the school’s facilities. With numerous recent stadium upgrades, UWA hopes to be very competitive in a short amount of time.

“With our scoreboard, lights, chairback seats, sound system and donor room all being less than five years old, and with the addition of brand new synthetic turf this summer, we feel we have one of the finest soccer facilities in the Aoutheast to offer,” Brophy said. “There are also a lot of good players in our region. Now all we have to do is roll up our sleeves and get to work.”

UWA will immediately begin accepting applications for the coaching position in view of having the head role filled by August.

“That’s why we’re going to go ahead and hire our coach in August so he will have a full year to recruit and get everything ready and jump right into Gulf South Conference play,” Brophy said. “We play in a tough conference for women’s soccer, but we’ve had success with launching other sports. So we look forward to the challenge.”

UWA will become the 10th women’s soccer program in the Gulf South Conference.