It’s now October, and we’re in the thick of club sports season at UNCG. Every night during the week, if you are walking on campus near the recreational field, you see the bright, overhead field lights shining on students from different club sports practicing and preparing for the upcoming weekend game. October is also the time of year when soccer fever hits the campus like a penalty shot. Women’s club soccer, a staple of UNCG club sports since 2008, is no exception to the club sports season, as well as the soccer season here on campus.
The team is already halfway through their schedule for the semester. They have played UNC Charlotte, Davidson and UNC Chapel Hill, losing by a score of 2-3 to the Tar Heels in Chapel Hill two weeks ago. Despite the narrow loss, the players are enjoying every second of being a part of the team.
“I joined because I’ve always played soccer,” said Lindsay Jones, a sophomore on the team who is currently splitting her playing time between midfielder and keeper. “And then I came into college, and I didn’t want to give it up, so I figured that club ball would be a good way to stay in it, a little more so than intramural.”
The club team is definitely big time commitment—the team practices twice a week on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 6 to 8 p.m. on top of games on Saturdays—competition is indeed a step up from intramural. Unlike intramural sports where you compete against fellow students, club teams face off against other universities both in and outside the state. Still, the women’s club soccer team offers a unique opportunity for players of all skill levels. There is an A team, comprised of the more advanced players, and a B team, comprised of the beginner players. Between the two teams, players have plenty of chances to test their merit against other schools.
“It’s kind of a way for us to separate people who have played soccer a long time in the past and want to play college level soccer as opposed to people who may have never played before and just want to come out and enjoy the game of soccer and learn a lot more about it,” head coach Jessica Fox told The Carolinian before practice last week.
To Jones, an accomplished player, it’s not just the sport and competition that appeals to her—it’s the friendships that she makes along the way.
“[I love] the people on the team, honestly,” the sophomore said. “We get along pretty good. We hang out outside of soccer… We’re a big family.”
Coach Fox agrees. “My favorite part of this team is just meeting new people. We probably have 80 people try out every year. I’ve my best friends and my roommates through soccer.”
Megan Ellison, president of the club, also appreciated becoming friends with her many teammates. “We just have a lot of different personalities on the team,” Ellison said. “We’ve got some goofballs, some girls that keep us together and keep us serious. So I think the good balance of attitudes and personalities is the best part about this team.”
The team was scheduled to face off with Western Carolina at the rec field on Saturday, but the game was cancelled, as Western Carolina was unable to make the trip to Greensboro. The Spartans will now get three weeks off before they host Winthrop on Oct. 22. Then they’ll hit the road to battle Davidson on Nov. 4 in their regular season finale before finishing out the year with a fundraising tournament on Nov. 11-12 in the Kaplan Center.