With the Covid-19 pandemic shutting down the world, many of Pacific’s student athletes were left with their seasons cut short or postponed in the spring of 2020. The Northwest Conference then pushed back fall sports seasons until spring 2021, leaving athletes both disappointed and confused. However, these athletes have kept their training consistent with high hopes for the spring.
Senior Brycen Lee, a kinesiology major at Pacific, currently plays for the men’s soccer team as an outside back. He had big plans for his senior season but once the news of a postponed season hit, Lee was forced to adapt. He developed a new mindset going into his training: take advantage of what you’re given.
With a new Coach this season, Lee thinks that Covid-19 could be a blessing in disguise for the team. “At first I was a little disappointed because I was really looking forward to competing with my teammates,” he said. “However, I think the season being moved to the spring is great because it gives us an opportunity to improve under Coach Porter and to grow as a team”.
Lee has been training non-stop since his first week home in Oahu, Hawaii, back in late March. Lee’s local training parks were shut down so he headed to the garage to get ball work in. He said, “It was pretty hard not being able to train at a soccer field or with a group of people, but thankfully I was able to train with family, get some touches, and lift with them”.
Pre-season this year has been anything but normal for fall athletes. It is easy to lose motivation when obstacles continue to fall in your way but Lee kept his head high, “I stay motivated on the field because I just love playing soccer and I stay motivated in the classroom because I want to graduate and make my family proud”.
Now that he is back on campus, Lee continues to get touches on a ball with his teammates, “The bond my teammates and I have made since returning back to school with the season being pushed back is strong. We all communicate very well on and off the field and share the same dedication to getting better for this upcoming season”.
Lee and the boys continue to meet up everyday to hold their own training, following all of the Covid-19 guidelines. The boys also keep in touch with each other and their new Coach, Porter via Zoom meetings. “We’ve had Zoom meetings with our coaches just to check in on each other and to keep us updated on how we’re going to move forward as a team”.
All in all, spring 2021 is looking bright for the men’s soccer team. Especially with the commitment and dedication shown by one of their returning seniors, Brycen Lee. — Emily Rutkowski
Photo: Lee playing in a club game for the Honolulu Bulls at age 14.