Emily Perhats (TheLorian)
The Loras Women’s soccer team has been on a crazy roller coaster ride this past year. The team was enjoying a high point with plans to go on a Costa Rica trip in August of 2020, but it was postponed due to COVID-19. The postponement was in June, with the plan to take it in August of 2021.
Costa Rica is a trip the team goes on every four years. This is so every athlete gets to attend once, but the seniors lost their only shot at this adventure.
“I was very upset and disappointed,” senior midfielder, Brynn Jacobi said. “I had been looking forward to going to Costa Rica since my freshman year and had heard so many great stories from those who have gone.”
Jacobi has decided to take the fifth-year option and will play another year. If the current COVID-19 trends continue, her hope is that she’ll get to go on the Costa Rica trip this August.
Not only was the Costa Rica trip postponed, the fall season was canceled. At that point, players and coaches in the soccer program were feeling that low point of the coaster ride.
“We were a go for the fall all throughout the summer,” Head Coach, Matt Pucci said, “The ARC (American Rivers Conference) was probably one of the last conferences to decide against a season.”
In addition to losing out on a fall season, many of the players said they lost their motivation to play. One thing that helped shortly after the season was postponed, the women’s program was granted approval to have practices and a weekly inner squad scrimmage.
The women’s team took the COVID-19 precaution measures seriously in the hope they could keep everyone healthy, but they ended up with a few players who tested positive. Throughout all of the positive results, quarantines, and waiting for results to come back, coaches and players said they always had each other’s backs.
The women had high hopes to compete against other teams in a spring season. As the spring drew closer, it was looking more and more likely that the women’s soccer team was going to get to compete in at least eight games.
“We are so excited to be able to play a conference schedule,” Pucci said. “We will have eight games and a scrimmage this spring.”
Those eight games are being crammed into only four weeks. The Duhawks are playing two games a week which results in some quick turn arounds between games. The roller coaster ride is on a high with women already taking home two wins in their conference play.
Jacobi said playing again feels amazing. While she enjoyed to opportunity to practice and scrimmage, she says the feeling of game day is completely different, and it’s been a long time since the team last felt that rush.
All athletes competing in sports this spring are required to be tested for COVID-19 before each game. Jacobi said, “it’s a small price to pay in order to play this season.”
Jacobi, who is student teaching out of state this semester, has been traveling back and forth to make it for games. She has to get rapid tested before each game in order to take the field.
Duhawk athletes have shown a great deal of perseverance and great attitudes throughout the roller coaster ride they have all endured.
“After all we have been through, I believe this team has come out stronger and even closer together as it is a very special group,” Pucci said. “We are incredibly proud of our team and especially the seniors – and we thank them for all they have done for our program over the years.”