Shirley Ann Higuchi has a demanding job as an attorney. But when she leaves the firm of Epstein, Becker, Borsody and Green for the weekend, she doesn't relax. Higuchi puts on her cleats and drags her husband Marcus Collier and 9-month-old son Billy to the soccer field for as many as three games in two days.

Higuchi is one of thousands of area professionals participating in over a dozen adult soccer leagues; she plays in the top division in the Arlington Women's Soccer League for the Virginia Kicks and also on a mixed team.

The 28-year-old Arlington resident has enjoyed soccer since she played for the University of Michigan, where she met her husband in an intramural game.

At Georgetown University Law School, Higuchi continued playing intramurals, and eventually joined the Arlington team.

"It's hard to juggle soccer with the work situation," Higuchi said. "Being an attorney, the hours can be unpredictable, and with the baby, practice and weekend games . . . but if you manage your time correctly, you can reach a happy medium in all areas."

Joan Sullivan, 39, started coaching her children's soccer teams nine years ago. Soon thereafter, she decided to play. Sullivan, who plays in the Montgomery County Women's Recreation League, often joins in a lunchtime pickup game with colleagues at the Bureau of Standards, where she works as a computer scientist.

"It's my main way of keeping fit," she said. "It's a lot of fun . . . you experience a lot of camaraderie."

Because of long spring seasons (which ended within the last month) and excessive heat, the number of teams in each league decreases during the summer. In spite of this, adult soccer participation is still going strong.

The usual 40 teams that participate in the Montgomery County men's league are reduced to six in the summer. {During the summer, the county also has an under-23 league.} The women's program shuts down, but there are coed games each weekend.

The Prince George's County women's league is just beginning. The league, which started in the spring with five teams, might expand in the fall.

The Virginia adult soccer program is perhaps the largest in the area. More than 35 teams compete in the Fairfax Women's soccer league, with age divisions for 18-, 30- and 40-plus. Games run through the summer. The Arlington league has 25 teams for 18-and-over and six for players over 30. For the summer, a pickup league is run with games three nights a week.

There are numerous area men's leagues. The Northern Virginia Soccer League takes the summer off, but consists of 35 teams in three divisions in the spring and fall. The National Soccer League of Washington, started in 1926, has decreased to eight teams. Once with as many as 46 teams before other leagues began forming, the NSLW expects some renewed growth next season.

The Washington Independent Soccer League has more than 20 teams. The players for each team are usually of similar ethnic background and play for international organizations or their respective embassies.

The Washington Area Women's league consists of 18 teams in three divisions. Four teams are from the District, two from Maryland and 12 in Virginia.

The Alexandria Coed Soccer League consists of 19 teams and requires teams be made up of at least 60 percent city residents. The league was transformed in 1980 from a men's league when mixed teams became more popular.

Other local adult leagues include the Dale City Recreation League, Reston Soccer Association, Northern Virginia Coaches League, the Independent Soccer League of Maryland, Guatamala Soccer League and McLean Soccer League.

For players who love soccer, but not the heat, there is the growing trend of indoor soccer.

At the Sports Network in Manassas, about 80 teams play five nights a week throughout the summer. The Corner Kick in Gaithersburg accomodates more than 20 teams two nights a week.