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WAGS Co-Founder, women’s soccer pioneer Mavis Derflinger passes away

Mavis Derflinger, one of the Washington Area Girls Soccer League Founders passed away early Thursday morning, October 14th.

Derflinger began her soccer career when she coached a girls team in Lee-Mt. Vernon (1969). She teamed with Rael Vodicka in the early 1970’s to form the Washington Area Girls Soccer League (WAGS), where she served as Treasurer. Derflinger was elected the President of the Virginia Youth Soccer Association (VYSA) and was named the Region I Director for United States Youth Soccer Association (USYSA) by the mid-1970’s.

She became the first female Board member of the US Soccer Federation (USSF) in the early 1980’s and in 1986 was elected Chairman of US Youth Soccer, which put her on the USSF Executive Committee.

In 1994 Derflinger, along with Betty D’Anjolell, took the first team, an under 19 team, to travel outside the US. The team played in Iceland, Germany, Norway and Holland. Mavis was the Head of Delegation for the First Women’s Team to travel overseas when they played in competition in Jessolo Italy and was Head of Delegation for the U19 team in competition in Varga, Bulgaria.

Derflinger fought tirelessly for funding for the US Women’s program and sees the US Women’s development as one of her proudest achievements. USSF voted her a “Life Member” in 1990. She received the Sporting Goods Manufacturers of America “National Heroes Award” in 1995 for her dedication to soccer in the local community.

In 2004, Mavis was the first woman inducted into the CONCACAF Hall of Fame. She was a tremendous advocate for women’s soccer, and while she has passes, her legacy lives on.

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