Saturday was a special day for former Arnold girls soccer players, as the team held their 5th Annual Alumni game. The game, more then just a reunion, as every year, the girls work together to raise money for a local charity.
This year, no different, still the current Marlins vs. the alumni in the match-up, but this year's charity, near and dear to the Marlins hearts, as money raised today went to the Megan Pettis Memorial Scholarship Fund.
Pettis died a few days after being shot in a domestic dispute in March, and the Arnold ladies, wearing purple on Saturday to bring awareness to domestic violence, and everyone sporting Pettis' #20 jersey, which was retired before the match.
"Every fabric of that jersey that's woven together that has her number on it shows how tight we are as a team, and how tight we will always be as a family," said Megan's former coach Angie Rice. "A good chunk of that is because of her."
"It means so much to see the community come together not just the community the entire team," said former teammate, and 2009 graduate, Maggie Gardner. "We had more girls here then we ever had. The younger girls recognized that this was really important to the alumni, and the alumni really banded together. We had more people in the stadium then ever before. It meant so much to see everybody ban together."
The event raised close to $1,000 for the Fund, which close to 20 alumni participated in. One of those alumna? Kirsten Crowley, who now plays at Florida State, and helped the Noles to the National Championship game this year, where they lost to UCLA in overtime.
Crowley was a 2012 graduate of Arnold, and left the Marlins as the program's all time leading scorer, with 116 career goals. Today, she added two more to held the alumni win 3-2. Today was also a special day for Crowley, who's jersey was retired at halftime, and after the game, Crowley saying she's happy to be home, and happy to wrap up a great year at FSU.
"I come back and I realize this is where I came from and I'll never forget it. Now it'll inspire other kids who want to play soccer to come out and play," she said of having her jersey retired. "The other day I had a soccer player from Bay come up and ask for a picture with me. I was like what?! This is crazy. To come back and be so close and to see all the people drive over and watch my games that I've seen and grown up with in high school and Panama City. It's really nice to play this close. My dad is making all the away trips so that's nice too."
Crowley added that the team is even more motivated to win a National title next year, and said spring training starts as soon as they get back to school. For more information on FSU women's soccer, click here.