Most people believe once they graduate high school, they won’t have the opportunity to play the sport they love ever again, but the Missouri State Women’s Club Soccer team gives soccer lovers that opportunity.
“We’re a competitive team of girls who like to play soccer, not necessarily at the collegiate level but it still gives us the competitive edge,” President Akilah Wright said.
The team is created through the process of tryouts. “Anyone is eligible to play, tryouts are and are typically the first or second week of the fall semester, which is a process of two days for two hours each day,” Wright said.
Though the club is open to anyone, Wright said a knowledge and background of the sport is preferred.
“Dedication plays a role because even though it is just a club team, we all tried out to be on the team so that has to mean something to an individual. Hard work, that goes back to having to tryout and also being able to work hard at practices to show good and positive results at games,” Wright said.
“We play other universities in Missouri, Arkansas, Illinois, and Kansas,” Wright said.
"In previous years I would say that Arkansas is a rival, but they are in another conference now, so we won't play them this season but we do play Mizzou, so there is that Missouri State/Mizzou rivalry” Vice President Eryn Fanning said.
Like other club sports, there are costs that are associated with being on the team.
“We have a $10 tryout fee and we also have dues once the team is selected, but they vary between seasons depending on how many girls we carry, home games, travel games and if we want to go to Nationals and Regionals,” Wright said.
“We receive funding from the Student Organization Funding Allocation Council (SOFAC) and it helps cover various things such as referees, field rentals or if we happen to need new jerseys,” Fanning said.
Wright said that a typical season is about a month and a half, but regional and national competition could take them through mid-November. The last time the team made Regionals was in 2018. These competitions are gained through season records or through bids.
To these players, soccer is much more than just a game. “Being on the team means being surrounded by a group of girls who have met and come together because we all have the same passion for the sport of soccer,” Fanning said.
Though soccer may not be everyone's sport, Missouri State offers other club sports such as tennis, volleyball, handball and more which can be found through campus recreation.
The team has their home opener on Saturday Sept. 11 at 1 p.m. at the Cooper Soccer Complex in Springfield. They will also be hosting a fundraiser Sept. 18 from 4-8 p.m. at the Chipotle located at 1211 E St. Louis St.
Follow Makayla Strickland on Twitter, m_strickland28
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