Itching to meet the Ivy? Richmond's new women's soccer team is ready to take the pitch

Posted at 10:51 PM, May 09, 2024
and last updated 2024-05-11 08:28:21-04

RICHMOND, Va. -- Soccer history will be made Saturday night when the Richmond Ivy opens its inaugural season playing at City Stadium in the USL women's league.

Midfielder Hanna Heaton called the game a huge opportunity.

"This is something new to me," Heaton, a Gloucester native who plays for Christopher Newport University, said. "I haven't done a summer league like this before and played at this level. So I'm very excited for this opening game."

"We're so excited to bring women's soccer and new opportunities to Richmond," Madie Vincent, a Smithfield native who plays for Christopher Newport University, said. "We all grew up playing Richmond soccer and we idolized the girls that played before us."

Forward Taylor Berry said she's so excited to play in front of the hometown fans.

"Excited is an understatement," Taylor Berry, an Urbanna native who plays for Youngstown State University, said. "This whole team is just pumped to be here on home ground, in our stadium."

Ivy head coach Kimmy Cummings is no stranger to Richmond soccer. She played on the Richmond Kickers Destiny, a women's team which existed between 2004 - 2009.

"I think there's a lot of differences," she said about the Destiny and the Ivy. "The investment from the community has just been massive. That feels different. I think the investment from the executives and Rob Ukrop is different in making women's soccer important in the Richmond area."

Cummings said she was drawn to the challenge of putting a brand-new team together.

"I think it's that, that it's a challenge. For me, it's been great to see. A lot of these players I've coached before. Getting them back to coach again, they have a little more experience. They're a little different players, that's been exciting," she said. "The reality is we're cramming a lot into a very short period of time. I'm throwing a lot of information at them right off the get-go because we want it to feel like a professional team. We're all on the same page but we're coming from different areas in soccer and how soccer is played. That's part one of just trying to get everyone on the same page right away. Add to that you're introducing new players every day."

Coach Cummings and the Richmond Ivy will start its inaugural season on Saturday at City Stadium.

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