BOCA RATON, Fla. -- Even with the 1-0 loss to the 2004 East team, two West ODP teammates –Ashleigh Garcia and Emma Corcoran – have found that there is more to soccer than just the game itself.
The two teens play for rival clubs in California but met at ODP.
When the fires in Northern California started, the devastation was enormous.
Four girls from the San Ramon Soccer Club lost their homes and the team has been shuttling from field to field trying to find patches of grass to play since their training fields were scorched.
“The closest fire was three miles from my house, but I’m fine,” Corcoran said. “I was very scared and we actually had to evacuate once. It is better, but we still don’t have a field because our fields were burned. We are traveling around trying to find new places to train. We couldn’t play for like 2-1/2 weeks, so I had to go to the gym and work out.
“I have been doing fundraising and gave them all hand-me-downs and stuff like that,” Corcoran added. “It was really difficult for them because some of them had other houses because their parents were divorced, but some lost the house they grew up in.”
Garcia, 13, who plays for the Pleasanton Rage Soccer Club, help spearhead fundraising efforts for those families, and within a month’s time, more than doubled their goal of $2,500. Garcia, who lives in Tracy, California, about 2-1/2 hour drive away from the fire zone, said they collected flat pledges or donations, sold shirts and stickers during practices and games.
“We heard about the fires and we were devastated at home,” Garcia said. “The girls who lost their homes were actually close to us because they are like one of our biggest rival clubs and we play against them very often. They were our counterparts and we knew we had to do something for them.”