Shenandoah FC Elite and players from Shenandoah University Women’s Soccer team traveled to Haiti to empower young girls through the game of soccer.

“It was amazing! We rolled up in the truck to the field and all the girls ran over and just to see the looks on their faces when we handed them cleats and socks like the simplest things we think of is so big to them,” said Emily Vergin, Shenandoah University Soccer Sophomore.

The soccer camp was a week long and the Haitian girls didn’t go easy on the Shenandoah squads.

“They got really competitive, I think more than us,” said Vergin.

Only 25 girls were expected to show up, but by the end of the week, word spread throughout the villages in Haiti and there were over 100 girls running around scoring goals.

“It made me really happy because i love helping others especially in a sport I love. It was even better,” said Sara Fuller, Shenandoah University Soccer Sophomore.

“Really eye opening because you see all the despair and the poverty there, but when you look in their eye, you can see all the fight that they do have a lot of energy,” said Vergin.

The Shenandoah teams made a positive impact on and off the field for the girls.

“We sang songs with them, we taught them how to count in English, in the end I would almost think we were like a family,” said Fuller.

This may have been their first trip to Haiti, but it won’t be their last, the trip has now turned into an annual tradition.

“We started a women’s team and since we left, they’ve been practicing two to three times a week,” said Elizabeth Pike, Shenandoah University Head Women’s Soccer Coach.

The Shenandoah teams plan on returning to Haiti in January to see how the team there has come along.