The University of Northwestern–St. Paul’s women’s soccer team will be playing the remainder of the games for the men’s soccer team. The majority of the men’s team received an assortment of season-ending injuries and red cards and will not be able to complete their spring season. Rather than forfeit the rest of their games, they asked the women’s soccer team to step in.
While this has never been attempted in the history of college sports, the UNW women’s soccer team was happy to help.
“I think that this is a great opportunity for us,” said freshman midfielder Emily Brink. “Sure, it will be a little tough, but I think that we should be able to do just fine.” Brink said that all the extra practices the women’s team has been attending should be enough to prepare them for the additional games.
“The biggest challenge will probably be playing two games back-to-back on some days,” said Brink. “Playing one game is already pretty tiring, but two games might be pretty exhausting.” To prepare for their double workload, the women’s team has been running 10 miles every morning before classes, as well as five additional miles during their evening practices.
“We’ve had a few close calls with exhaustion, and all of this extra running has definitely been difficult for us,” said Brink. “But no one has passed out yet!”
Normally, the UNW women’s soccer team would have two practices a day: one in the early afternoon and one later in the evening. However, the addition of the men’s schedule has forced them to add an extra early-morning practice to their routine.
“Waking up at 5:00 a.m. in the morning has been tough,” said Brink. “I know that most of us have been taking little naps on the field when [the] coach isn’t looking.”
The UNW women’s soccer team will begin their new campaign against the College of St. Scholastica’s men’s soccer team. The St. Scholastica men’s soccer team, which has beaten the UNW men’s soccer team in every contest since 2011, has not played a game yet this year.
“I think that we’re in a good spot to bring them down,” said Brink. “We already have several games under our belt this year, and they haven’t even played one.” Brink said that even though the men’s team has struggled against St. Scholastica for the last 10 years, the women’s team should provide a fresh challenge.
“They have no clue what we’re capable of,” said Brink. “They probably don’t have any scouting reports on us, so we definitely have the element of surprise.”
Even though this series of events has never been seen, the UNW women’s soccer team is confident that they can save the men’s season.