Girl and Banished Soccer Team Allowed to Play After All
SEATTLE (AP) _ A fourth-grade soccer team banished from league play because a girl belongs to the squad met its regularly scheduled opponent in an unofficial match and won, 2-1.
″I felt good,″ said 7-year-old Marisa Monroe, one of the team’s star players. ″I felt happy about winning.″
The team had been banished from the Seattle Catholic Youth Organization’s soccer league for letting her stay on the team, but the coaches of the two teams arranged the match.
Marisa’s parents said their daughter began playing with the fourth-grade boys because her skill level was considerably higher than the girls’ team.
Marisa came close to getting two goals in the contest, in which the St. Joseph’s team defeated St. Anne’s, her coach, Jere Carrasco, said.
The game had been quietly arranged by the two teams after Seattle Archbishop Raymond Hunthausen asked the archdiocesan CYO to review its decision to banish the team because it refused to boot Marisa.
CYO Athletic Director Terry McGrath said after Saturday’s game, ″As far as I’m concerned, that team disappeared two weeks ago.″
Before Hunthausen’s intervention Friday, Marisa’s mother had filed a sexual discrimination complaint against the CYO with the state Human Rights Commission, which set a hearing for Nov. 18.
Carrasco said Marisa is one of the top three players on the team, which saw the remaining two games of its official season canceled by the all-male CYO commission because Marisa was on the roster.
But Carrasco said he made plans to have his team play St. Anne’s ″in an informal, unofficial game″ after the move was suggested by Steve McAuliffe, St. Joseph’s volunteer CYO soccer coordinator.
″If the coaches on their own decide to bring those two groups of children together, nobody’s going to prevent them from doing it,″ McAuliffe said.
″We’d prefer these kids just have fun playing soccer,″ Carrasco said.
The archdiocesan CYO sports program, which has an estimated 11,000 participants and 2,000 volunteer coaches, allows girls to play with boys of their own grade level if there are no girls’ teams for their grade.