CHICO, Calif. - The Chico State Women’s Soccer team is grateful they got to finally be together as a team and build some team chemistry, especially with the younger players.
“This experience has been crazy,” said Taylor Russell, freshman on the Wildcat Women’s Soccer team. “Tt’s been really different for me.”
Russell never expected her freshman year as a college athlete to look like this.
“I knew that one day we would come back on this field and I wanted to be ready for that experience,” said Russell. “I didn’t want to hold my team back.”
For a short five weeks, Russell and other athletes got the chance to work together.
“I mean it wasn’t the same not being with the whole team and wearing the masks and all that, but just getting to be out here made it so worth it,” said Sarah Emigh, senior on the CSU Women’s Soccer team.
Russell and other freshman finally got a taste of what it means to be a part of the Wildcat family.
“It’s been so great to have them out here to get the nerves out of their first-day training at a college program,” said head Women’s Soccer coach, Kim Sutton.
Russell told Action News Now that she was glad to get these weeks under her belt.
“I was so nervous, like you don’t understand,” said Russell. “I don’t know how I hid them so well.”
Without competition happening at all this past year, some seniors are not ready to say goodbye to the game that they love just yet.
“I thought about it and I just cried," said Emigh. “I was like, ‘if I can stay why wouldn’t I?’”
Other seniors also felt sentimental towards their soccer family.
“I wanted to get my closure on the field,” said Kylie Martinez, senior on the team. “I didn’t want to just have it end. I also love this team and this program, so that made my decision really easy.”
Now, they are even hungrier to compete in the fall.
“I can’t wait to play my first college game,” said Russell. “I can’t wait for that day to come.”
The Women’s Soccer team will have three returning seniors using their extra year of eligibility all athletes got because of COVID.
“I think the other teams need to look out because it’s banner season,” said Emigh.
Chico State student-athletes will be allowed back on campus come the fall to finally get to play after more than a year.