Published May 20, 2022
Written By:    Eric Newman
               West Region Contributor


After going 7-0-1 in a limited campaign last season, the women of FC Tucson are looking to extend their success in the summer of 2022.


The reigning Desert Conference champions, one of the top teams in all the WPSL, could see even more chances to make an impact in the same uniforms this year. The WPSL did not hold playoffs or a league championship last year but will do so this season.


A chance to compete for a region and league title, as well as repeat as conference champions, adds an extra benefit to the work the players and coaches are putting in ahead of this season.


I think everyone last year, because of the squad that we had and the team chemistry that we had, were really bummed that there was no playoffs,” Laura Piemienta, a veteran FC Tucson player, said. “But this year it just adds that extra factor. Obviously we play hard every year in every game, but this year there’s even more incentive.”


Like many of the WPSL teams, FC Tucson has succeeded with local players. That’s a major emphasis for the team, though, as it creates a chance for the players to not only represent themselves, but the city of Tucson, and southern Arizona in general, to a national audience.


Head coach Kelly Pierce is a long-time high school coach with the ultra-successful Salpointe Catholic High School girls soccer team and has coached many of the players on the roster since their youth days. Pierce is just one of many people in the organization that appreciates the importance of local soccer.



It’s exciting because a lot of these girls are local, born and raised here,” Pierce said. “When they go away to college, some come back to play here [and] we get to see them again, whether they’re back for the summer or are post-college and have other jobs, and they’re back pretty consistently to have that core group.”


That core group is what several returning players rely on to make a difference and impact on the field and veterans like Piemienta are focused on team chemistry and repeating their success from last season.


The success of FC Tucson not only begets more players and more attention for local soccer but can also inspire youth players to see what hard work in their careers can lead to. The University of Arizona is the top level of college soccer in the area but at its best, the WPSL can play an even higher-skilled game, which further pushes the narrative of soccer greatness in town.


It’s good for the younger girls in the community to have this team to look up to,” Pierce Said. “We don’t have other female sports in this town that are at that level, so I think it’s a great thing for the community.”


Piemienta, having grown up in the local soccer community, is a true example of that. She was local throughout her collegiate career playing at the University of Arizona and stayed local to play for the FC Tucson each summer – even after college.


I’ve seen a lot of girls that were younger and looked up to me,” Piemienta said. “They’re at an age now where they can train and compete with us, and that’s so fun to see.”



FC Tucson opens its season with a road match at El Paso Surf on May 28.