Each academic year brings with it a new roster full of players for Pacific University sports teams. This year, new and incoming freshman account for more than half of the women’s soccer team.
Women’s soccer finished their 2016 season with a 7-10-3 overall record and a 5-9-2 mark in Northwest Conference (NWC) action. The season ended with the Boxer’s tied in sixth place with Lewis & Clark College in the NWC table. According to several returning players, team chemistry so far this season has been overwhelmingly positive.
According to senior midfielder Sadie Parker, the team has been on an upward climb the past few years. However, the team this year not only has the skill to go further but also the fire and passion to win.
“We have a strong team and we are always striving to do better than the year before,” team captain Sydney Virgen said. “We have the skill and heart to place higher this year than in the past.”
With a particularly small team this year, it is more important than ever for the team to improve and play well, not only as individuals but also as a whole.
“All of them have really shown mature characteristics when it comes to playing on the field,” Virgen said. “A few freshmen are starting and they are able to play and act like veteran players. It is exciting and I can only imagine how they will play when they are older.”
Other seniors agree with Virgen adding the only real challenges the team is facing are their opponents and smaller fine tuning type of things which Virgen said will be easily addressed and fixed before the first conference game.
“Our freshman came in ready to work and they’re all solid players,” Parker said.
According to several freshman players, they could not be happier or feel more welcomed.
“The older girls on the team are very welcoming to the underclassman and are great role models for us,” Ammel Swan said. “At practice we compete very hard but once the training session is over, we go back to laughing and joking around with each other. We are always there for each other which is crucial for having a good team.”
Even the inevitable road bumps that come along with adding new members to any team seem to be met with open hearts and arms. Although the school’s expectations for the team are high, the team’s own expectations are even higher.
“Our main goal for this season is to win conference.” Parker said. “Regardless of what our standings have been in the past, we know we have the talent and the passion to do so.”