The start of a new season brings a new look for Tucson Women FC, the defending champions of the Women’s Premier Soccer League Desert Conference.
The team will wear a maroon and black Puma kit design with lightning bolts and the sponsor’s name Dean Alan Architects PLLC on the front.
The jersey even has its own nickname – ‘Monsoon’ – embroidered on the back.
Dean Alan Architects is shirt sponsor for the second year. Last season, the Puma kits were known as “Desert King” with a navy and black scale look of a soccer ball.
“I grew up in Tucson, so it’s really great to be a part of the community and to support the community,” he said Angela Gee, principal owner and founder of Dean Alan Architects. “Having a women-owned business, supporting women, doing great things, and being a role model for other people in the community is super important.”
Tucson Women FC began playoffs for the 2022 season on Sunday and is a third-year coach Kelly Pierce began an exercise program on a practice field at the North Theater for the first time on Tuesday afternoon.
Pierce’s team, who is coming off an unbeaten 7-0-1 season, will open the 2022 WPSL season on May 28 at the El Paso Surf, where the team finished the season with the championship last July.
“Ton of new faces in our core group of returnees who I always love,” Pierce said of her team’s makeup. “Having a lot of new ones is great for us. I think it’s spreading everywhere, with players from Flagstaff, Phoenix, California, Yuma, El Paso… I like it.”
Among the returnees are twins laura and Priscilla Pimientaboth defenders and goalkeepers Hope Hisey (a member of the Arizona football team who is the daughter of the CDO baseball coach Jason Hiseywho just won the 4A state championship).
Bri Barrierolast year’s team captain, returns as well as forward Hannah Leitnermidfield player HaleyHarris and defender Michael Hornstein.
“I’m loving being back in the whole team environment,” said Pierce, who has also coached Salpointe (her alma mater) to four state titles since 2018 and who will be there week-to-week.
Pierce said she will coach a team of nearly 40 players, a team large enough to provide reserve assistance if a player is unable to play on any given weekend.
The home opener at Kinor North is June 3 against El Paso Surf.
The WPSL is bringing back 120 teams, including 29 expansion teams for the 2022 season.
With the realignment, Tucson FC will remain in the Desert Conference with three other returnees and the new Arizona Arsenal Soccer Club from Phoenix.
The winner of the desert conference advances to the western region semi-finals. The winners of the four regions play for the state championship.
Tucson FC is unbeaten in their last 13 games and is 11-0 since losing to Albuquerque FC in 2019.
The club has finished first in its division five times since its inception in 2013 and advanced to the playoffs in 2013 and 2018 while missing out on tiebreaks in 2015 and 2019.
The season was canceled in 2020 and WPSL did not hold a postseason in 2021 due to COVID-19.
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Javier Morales, Publisher, Writer and Editor of ALLSPORTSTUCSON.com, is a past Arizona Press Club honoree. He is a former Arizona Daily Star beat reporter for the Arizona basketball team, including when the Wildcats won the 1996-97 NCAA title. He has written articles for CollegeAD.com, Bleacher Report, Lindy’s Sports, TucsonCitizen.com, The Arizona Republic, Sporting News, and Baseball America, among others. He is also the author of the book The Highest Form of Living, available on Amazon. He became an educator five years ago and is currently a special education teacher at Gallego Fine Arts Intermediate in the Sunnyside Unified School District.