Cedar Rapids gets first indoor semi-pro women’s soccer team

Published: Feb. 1, 2023 at 4:40 PM CST
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CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (KCRG) -The Iowa Raptors women’s team is getting ready to kick off its first ever indoor home game. The team is the first indoor semi-pro women’s soccer team in the state.

”It’s awesome to be able to give the same opportunity to the girls as the guys here in this town and this state being the first professional women’s indoor team to come to Iowa,” said Bobby Hurwitz, Managing Partner of the Iowa Raptors.

The team is part of the Premier Arena Soccer League. Player aren’t paid as they maintain eligibility for high school and to play in college, but they’re offered the experience of playing at a higher level.

”It’s pretty exciting since it’s a different type of level than I’ve been playing so it’s a different environment,” said Keiley Castellaons who comes to the team from Chicago.

The team is made up of a mix of local talent, as well as women coming from out of state.

”It’s really cool especially getting to play with people who are from out of state so it’s also getting to know others,” said Reegan Hess who goes to Prairie High School.

Being indoors the season takes place while it’s cold out. The hope is that the new team will help fill a gap during the winter months in terms of giving people more to do.

”Just to have that much more action and reason to get people down to our urban core and enjoy the Raptors,” said Jesse Thoeming, Executive Director of the Downtown District with the Cedar Rapids Metro Economic Alliance.

The first home game Friday is just the beginning.

”We’re here to play and we like actually want to win and we want to compete and we’re here to stay,” said Katy Anderson of Washington High School.

For the local talent, it’s a chance to be the first to take part in a new opportunity in their home state.

”I hope that this program goes a long way because it’s pretty cool to see women’s sports here in Cedar Rapids,” Ashlen Hall said, a player who goes to Marion High School.

The Iowa Raptors will take on the Cincinnati Sirens Friday at 7p.m. The men’s team will then play Saturday, they’re currently in first place.