Student Life | The independent newspaper of Washington University in St. Louis since 1878

Support women’s soccer in the Sweet 16

At long last, midterms are finally trickling to a close. Thanksgiving break is so close the taste of turkey, stuffing and mashed potatoes already inhabits our mouths. The end of the semester is just around the corner; reading week and finals will come soon after. But for our women’s soccer team, the most important part of the season to date comes this weekend.

The Bears’ quest for the first national title in school history continues at 5:30 p.m on Friday, Nov. 16. And this time, they’re competing at home for a spot in the Final Four.

This is the first time that Wash. U. has been chosen to host sectionals for women’s soccer. You’ll be a part of history if you’re in the crowd. Sure, it’s Division III, but playoffs are playoffs. Lose and you go home.

Women’s soccer is one of the sports in which we have yet to win a national title. Men’s basketball, men’s tennis and women’s cross-country have all won their first titles within the last four years. Why shouldn’t these third-ranked Bears be next?

And they are pretty good, too. The team is 18-1-1 on the season and is on a 15-game unbeaten streak. Sophomore and University Athletic Association Co-Player of the Year Anna Zambricki has scored 14 goals on the season and paces an offense that has scored 52 goals overall. On the other end of the pitch, senior goalkeeper Clara Jaques is allowing 0.72 goals per game and is a four-time All-UAA honoree.

As an incentive, Student Union has subsidized our tickets, and all undergraduates can attend for free. This is college. Free should be all you need to hear to attend.

If you’re stressed because your professor doesn’t understand when exactly a midterm should fall (hint: it’s in the middle of the semester, not the week before finals), a sporting event is the perfect study break. Francis Field is five minutes away from the South 40 and the Village. Skip your weekly elliptical workout at the Estrogym and take a light jog to the soccer field. You can clear your head from organic chemistry or hegemonic masculinities with some good, old-fashioned sporting fun.

As a student body, we’re notoriously competitive with other academic powerhouses. It’s part of our “Yes, it’s in St. Louis” mentality. Draw up a “Wheaton was my backup school!” sign or a “We’re the top in dorms and stress!” poster. Plus, we don’t want to be outnumbered on our home turf. For those of you who have never left the confines of Olin Library to watch a sporting event, home field advantage is supposed to mean something. Slap on your free Red Alert T-shirt, walk the 50 or so feet it takes to get to the soccer field and get ready to scream your lungs out.

Additionally, the teams competing have a combined record of 72-7-7 and an average national ranking of 7.5. That high of a level of competition will make the games closer and more skillful, leading to an electrifying experience for everyone. And after this summer and the excitement of the Olympics, one can definitively say that women’s soccer is just as exciting as men’s, if not more so. So come cheer on Wash. U.’s versions of Hope Solo and Alex Morgan.

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Student Life | The independent newspaper of Washington University in St. Louis since 1878