Multiple Sports - 2001

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Organized youth soccer is a part of the modern suburban landscape in New Jersey, with over 150,000 children participating in the sport. Gone are the days of the backyard pick-up game. Youth sports are organized and extremely competitve. The Parsippany Hurricanes, a high-level travel team of 13-year-old girls, practice long hours and spend their free time honing their soccer skills for their long season. Their parents spend an equal amount of time -- and money supporting them. While soccer scholarships are few and professional soccer opportunities even fewer, the girls gain insight into life's lessons. Winning, losing and team work prepare them for adulthood.

Danielle Woodhead's family built a wall in their front yard so she and her brother could practice on their soccer kicking skills at home. She spends time every day during summer vacation practicing. Amanda Brown/Star-Ledger

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