The Boston University women’s soccer team is making the best out of a less-than-ideal start to the semester after the Patriot League canceled fall sports in July.
Like many other teams at BU, women’s soccer is able to practice, but must do so with new COVID-19 restrictions in place that limit the amount of players allowed on the field together at a single time.
The squad is currently practicing in small groups of seven to nine players. Head coach Nancy Feldman said her team is trying its best to maintain contact with one another in a responsible manner.
“Just like everybody else out there,” Feldman said, “we are doing all the things we possibly can do to keep interactions and connections while maintaining safety.”
Each group is integrated so that there is someone from each grade level present, which Feldman said has helped with team bonding and getting freshmen acquainted with the team.
Although they cannot consistently practice in big numbers, the more compact groups have allowed the team to accomplish smaller goals, such as technical work and foundational skills.
The team engages in training sessions during which the full squad is on the field at the same time, with 20 feet between groups. But Feldman said they still hold the sentiment that they are together as an entire team.
Off the field, the team has weekly Zoom meetings where they can spend time with each other. Since the mask requirement during practice makes it harder to both breathe and communicate, Feldman said these virtual calls have served an important role in connecting the players.
The ability to be on campus has also been a big plus for the group, Feldman said, and the squad is glad they are still able to live in BU residences during this time.
“We’re grateful that we can find ways to be in residence at BU and stay safe and healthy,” Feldman said.
She also commended the University for putting a plan together to ensure a safe return to campus and said student-athletes, along with the student body as a whole, are acting responsibly.
The squad is hoping games will resume in the Spring, so maintaining momentum will be a key factor for success in the coming months.
The Terriers ended last season with a record of 5-12-2, but are looking to improve. Feldman said her team will be ready to play once games resume, and that they will compete for a conference title.
“We’re going to be ready to play and ready to compete and ready to vie for the Patriot League championship as soon as the restriction of competition is lifted,” Feldman said.
Despite high hopes for the Terriers, Feldman also said the team deals with feelings of discouragement due to the challenges presented by the pandemic.
“We all kind of go in waves of feeling a little discouraged and then feeling like, well, we’re grateful for what we get to do,” Feldman said.
However, she said that much of what the team is doing now was not possible in March and April, when the pandemic was at its height.
The Terriers will continue to forge forward, she said, preparing themselves for whatever may lay ahead without letting these new challenges hold them back.
“You can focus on all the uncertainty,” Feldman said, “but we’re trying to just control the things we can control.”