Sexism noticed by women’s soccer team

Laura Turner, Buisness Manager

Super Soccer Saturday is a highlight for many soccer fans. But the girls’ soccer team noticed at the most recent Super Soccer Saturday at Southwest that they were not part of fans’ excitement. Few people showed up to watch their game and according to senior Tesla Petersen, “The people that were there didn’t cheer.”

Senior Alex Benson noticed the same thing. “[The crowd] just sat down the whole entire game and then as soon as our game was over,  and the boys started warming up, everyone stood up.” Petersen added that that is also when more people started showing up to the event.

Lack of support took a toll on the team. “It’s hard to pump up your own team when you aren’t pumped up yourself,” said Petersen. Both girls expressed the value in knowing fans support and believe in them while they’re playing.

The soccer girls are given every opportunity the boys are, but not the support that is essential to the success of team mentality. “I would say the soccer booster club and program supports the girls, I would just say the overall student body and the other athletes of South doesn’t support the girls’ team as I think they should,” said Benson.

The disparity in support lies in the very basic fact that it is womens’ soccer. “Everyone just expects the boys’ teams to be way more exciting,” said Petersen. Fans tend to approach soccer with the attitude that “It’s just girls,” she continued. While she acknowledged that boys are physically stronger and capable of moving faster than girls, that does not mean the boys’ team plays more interesting games.

For most of the season, the girls’ team was not only more successful but played more exciting and interesting games, according to both Peterson and Benson. They worried that people expected the team to just be like the years’ before. In past years the boys’ team hosted many notable players, including Eliot Cassutt (class of 2013), so fans expect they will continue to be exciting to watch. Said Benson, “I feel like people underestimate that we have really skilled girls on our team.” Both girls noted that the freshmen players this year are phenomenal.

Another problem the Benson and Petersen noted is that no one wants to manage the girls’ team. They boys have managers that bake them cookies and other desserts, bring them drinks, and publicize their game. The girls do not have that support on the field nor that support that draws people to their games.

The girls noted the boys’ soccer team as their biggest supporters.  Said senior mens’ soccer captain Collin Kange, “We try to go to [their games] as much as we can because we know that womens’ soccer isn’t as big as men’s soccer.” He added that “At  Super Soccer Saturday we also try to get a lot of fans out there for their games… before our games because we know how much support means to them… it helps them play better.”

Kange encouraged any soccer fans that attend boys’ games exclusively to attend the girls’ games because they are just as exciting and just as fun to watch.