Women’s club soccer team earns spot in the regionals

October 20, 2021

Women’s club soccer team playing in a game

The Quinnipiac women’s club soccer team will be at the NIRSA Region 1 Soccer League competition this weekend, and the players are excited to bring their best game to the field.

This is the team’s second bid in a row for the NIRSA Club Soccer National Championships. The program participated in the 2019 regionals; there were no formal games in 2020 due to COVID.

Eighteen teams are slated to play in the regional competition, set for October 23-24 in Chesterfield, New Jersey.

On October 23, Quinnipiac will compete in a pool match against the University of Vermont and Cornell University. The winner will advance to the knockout round along with the other seven winners of the pool matches on October 24.

After last season’s light schedule of practice and team-building, the players were anxious to return to competitive matches.

“It’s been great to get back out on the field. The team certainly deserves the honor to participate in the regionals,” said Director of Campus Life for Recreation Mike Medina, MBA '10.

For players, the return of in-person games resonates on many levels. Audience engagement was missed, albeit for a somewhat surprising reason.

“Most players can agree that during game play, the mind mostly tunes out the background noise. What sometimes registers are reactions from opponents and their spectators,” said Women’s Club Soccer President Erin Sculer ’22. “The negative responses ignite determination for redemption during future plays.”

Quinnipiac’s women’s club soccer team currently ranks 4th out of 95 teams in the category. The team sustained only one loss throughout the season.

Sculer partially attributes her team’s success to the more rigorous tryouts held this past summer. Before tryouts, potential players received a strength, conditioning and ball-skill practice packet that focused on expertise necessary for club-level soccer.

“The number of girls who were looking to play soccer for fun has decreased over the past couple years; they join intramural teams instead for something less serious and not as demanding,” said Sculer. “The girls that did come to tryouts were ready to compete.”

Coach Janielo “Russ” Russo also played a large part in elevating the team this season.

“Coach Russo devised high-level practice drills and implemented them strategically during games, escalating performance individually and cohesively as a team,” said Sculer.

As they prepare and practice, Sculer and her teammates are excited for the challenge the upcoming competition brings.

“Being able to play against high-level schools is a pat on the back, especially when home friends go to those schools,” she said.

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