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Athletes of Distinction

Owens CC Women's Soccer Adopts a Family Through United Way of Toledo

The Express women's soccer team, pictured here with the gifts they bought, adopted a local family for Christmas. It was the second consecutive year they've worked with the United Way on this project. Photo by Owens Sports Information

The Owens C.C. Express women's soccer team worked with United Way to provide Christmas gifts for a local family this past weekend.

For the second straight year, the Express players and coaches took part in the United Way of Toledo's Adopt a Family program, where the team provides Christmas to a family in need. The family puts together a list of needs and wants ahead of time.

"Our goal is to make sure they get everything they need and almost everything they want," said Express women's soccer head coach Mary Whisler.

It was Whisler who contacted the local United Way last year to see how the team could help.

"Receiving a gift on Christmas is special," Whisler said. "Giving an entire family a Christmas is truly one of the best gifts of all. I have a very special group of girls. Their huge hearts showed on the field and also with this project. It's a really good feeling."

Whisler highly recommends this project for anyone who is looking for a way to give back.

The Express women's soccer team recently completed their best season (17-2-2) in program history. The team achieved the program's highest National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA) D-I ranking, No. 13, during the season, while also winning 15 straight games en route to the program's first Region XII tournament championship and appearance in the NJCAA D-I National Tournament.

While at nationals, the Express finished 0-0-2 before falling in a one-day tiebreaker. They won the NJCAA's Lea Plarski Sportsmanship Award for exhibiting the best sportsmanship of any team at the national tournament, as well.

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