By LAURA TAYLOR
The thrilling excitement all began with the ball switching back through the defense to the left side. The receiving Eagle defender took it up the sideline and ended up scoring against William and Mary. The game wasn’t played at the varsity level; it was played at the club level but with just as much thrill and excitement.
UMW’s women’s club soccer team offers a comfortably competitive atmosphere that welcomes all ranges of experience from beginner to advanced. The competitiveness comes each game week when the roster is decided for that weekend’s game. Those that really wish to play can utilize all the experience they have to hopefully make roster while those who simply want the challenge are able to play in more competitive practices.
For junior Mollie Rhoades, playing on the women’s club soccer team allowed her to play soccer at a more relaxed pace while also allowing her to experience the thrill of playing other colleges and universities. When asked why she chose club level over varsity, Rhoades said “I wanted something more relaxed and that I would be able to work around my schedule.” She ended up loving her teammates and realized she had found her spot on the club level.
“I wanted to be able to play soccer but still have enough time for school,” and the women’s club soccer team offered her just that. She is able to make all three practice days throughout the week and still has enough time to do her schoolwork.
This past weekend, the roster included Rhoades and Beavers in the away game against Christopher Newport University, one of the Eagles’ biggest rivals, in which UMW took the win, 3-1.
Similarly to varsity, the club soccer team plays other Virginia colleges and universities in both home and away games. Athletes are able to work on skill and scrimmage against teammates during practice. However, the club level minimizes tense pressure in not only games but practices, and focuses more on building skill, relationships and practicing good sportsmanship rather than records, statistics and rankings.
Women’s club soccer’s next home game will take place on the Campus Rec Field on March 25 at 11 a.m. as UMW will take on George Mason University.