Women’s soccer team at Saddleback College by CandiceDartezphotography
Balancing sports, academics and social lives, Saddleback College’s women’s soccer team shares how they keep their lives balanced. From going undefeated this season to losing their first game, coach BJ Nichols says how humbling and rewarding it was to lose and come back stronger than ever.
“Losing our first game was humbling,” Coach BJ McNicol said. “We needed it in order to get better and win our next game.”
The girls had won or tied every game they played this season, and after losing Saturday night to Cypress they came back stronger and pulled through with a win in their next game.
“After we got beat by Cypress we came back,” said Lacy Ruston, forward position. “We had a tough game yesterday but we pushed through it and even though they scored on us we still pushed through and got the win.”
The women’s soccer team started the season strong by winning 8-0 to MiraCosta and 10-0 to Mt. San Jacinto in September. Teammate Maliyah Medley scored a hat trick in the first nine minutes against San Jacinto, and that game the women tied a school record and went on to set two more.
Academics are a large part of every university, and sports are no exception. When it comes to the women’s soccer team at Saddleback, studying is crucial to stay on the team. As Saddleback offers numerous tutoring opportunities and spaces to study, it’s no wonder these women had the highest grades of all the Saddleback sports teams.
“So we have to get three hours a week in the learning resource center to get caught up on work ,” said Kylie Beu, center forward on the team.
The Learning Resource Center is open Monday through Thursday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Friday from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. Computer stations with wi-fi are available and drop-in tutoring appointments are available along with online tutoring. The team is able to go together, to strengthen their bond and help each other out with homework and studying.
Practicing and studying has become a balance for the women on the soccer team, but teamwork in the LRC allows the women to keep the highest grades on all of the Saddleback sports teams as they were recognized for it by the school.
“You could be the best soccer player in the world but if you don’t have the grades to get there in college you’ll never make it with the college teams,” coach BJ McNicol said.
Sports in college aren’t always about physical ability, but also about discipline and education as it’s common for individuals to be kicked off a team if they don’t meet certain requirements. With practices like studying in the LRC, the women’s soccer team is able to balance their personal lives, academics and playing soccer as the team mentioned.
The women practice throughout the week and have games as well, and on top of that need to study for three hours on campus every week to ensure all assignments are completed.