The sun is shining, the nets are blowing, cleats are being laced up, and the lights are shining on the field as both Pacific’s Mens and Womens soccer team suit up for this shortened spring season. This is something that both programs are not accustomed to, but are willing to adapt to the new lifestyle that COVID-19 has brought upon our world.
Even though this is a shortened season, there is still a good amount of games for the Boxers to showcase what they’re made of. Coming from the start of the fall semester, it had been a question/concern on whether or not both programs would even be able to schedule any games with the schools within the Northwest Conference. Both teams see this as a positive experience and a memory that they will look back on for years to come.
Brandon Porter, Pacific Men’s Soccer Coach, preached the importance of competition and what sports do for the student athletes. Even though the season is not how it normally is, Porter wants each player to truly cherish every moment that the players get on the field and take advantage of what time they have, even though restrictions are still relevant.
“Trying to keep practices and games as normal as possible is what we have tried to do as a program, and hopefully we continue to do so as the year progresses,” Porter stated. “This spring has been okay for us in terms of battling and keeping games tight. Things looking forward, we are challenging our returners to get better because their jobs are on the line when the incoming class comes next year.”
Steve Lucas, Pacific Women’s Soccer Coach, explained that COVID-19 not only tested their team on the field, but also off the field too. He realized that with COVID-19, it brought way more stress onto the student athletes in terms of school, athletics, social, and even emotional aspects of life at Pacific.
“This season has been interesting for our team and we are happy to even be able to compete this semester and play games,” Lucas said. “With COVID-19, it allowed for our team to truly evaluate ourselves academically, athletically, and even socially. We’ve been able to open up to one another and truly evaluate any issue brought up by someone and it has allowed us to connect that much more with the time we are given and the limitations we have due to COVID-19.”
With each team looking to finish the season strong, the memories that each player will cherish will have them looking back on these days and be happy just knowing that we all persevered through the hardships brought about because of COVID-19. — Todd Takeuchi