Without its regular fall season, the Hillsdale College Women’s Soccer Club still main­tains a com­pet­itive envi­ronment with intense scrim­mages, relays, and other team bonding activities. 

“This year, the club is doing fun Friday prac­tices with a game and scrimmage every week,” HCWSC pres­ident Julianna Battig said. “This has been a way for us to still play soccer ‘games’ despite our fall season with the Women’s Midwest College Club Soccer League getting postponed.”

The scrimmage teams are shuffled each com­pe­tition, ensuring that players get to work with everyone on the team. 

In addition to the scrim­mages, team leaders increased the pace of practice, designing drills that keep everyone engaged. The club has also incor­po­rated fitness relay races, which Battig said helps gen­erate pos­itive chemistry. 

“We are planning to have a scrimmage for parents weekend, so that should be a lot of fun,” Battig said. “We are also having a spring season with the Women’s Midwest Col­le­giate Soccer Club.” 

The spring season is pro­jected to run from March to May, and while the Chargers wait, they’ve been able to make mem­ories and enjoy themselves. 

“Some of my favorite mem­ories with the team this year have been the team bonding events and all the shenanigans those entailed,” Battig said. “We had a team dinner at Josie Miller’s house where we ate El Cer­ritos and then tried to throw cookies to each other and catch them in our mouths. We also had a team dinner eating pizza at the soccer field while watching the boys’ scrimmage after our own scrimmage.” 

These team dinners, according to Battig, have been a good way for the team to have fun and get to know each other outside of practice. 

Junior Sarah Johnson, trea­surer of the HCWSC and team member for the past two years said it’s dif­ficult to maintain intensity during the can­celed season. 

“Since we’re a club sport, the temp­tation to slack off at practice is very real,” Johnson said. “We as a team are cer­tainly doing our best to beat back that temp­tation by keeping prac­tices intense with chal­lenging drills and conditioning.”

Lydia Barrows, the vice pres­ident of the HCWSC, said the can­celed season has fos­tered com­pe­tition for roster spots. 

“At first it was dis­ap­pointing to hear that the league was essen­tially shut down, but the slower paced fall season has allowed us to have more light-hearted fun with each other,” she said. “And it’s given us more time to prepare for tryouts instead of holding them right at the beginning of the year.”

Battig said the club has con­tinued to grow over the last four years, cre­ating more com­pe­tition for roster spots and giving the team more depth. 

“There were games my freshman year where we played a man down because we didn’t have enough people to field an entire team,” Battig said. “This year, there were 35 girls at tryouts. There are also more girls who came from com­pet­itive club teams, so the speed of play on the team has really picked up the past few years, which has been exciting to see.” 

Senior Taylor Dick­erson, a member of the team for the past three years, said she’s been impressed with the intensity her team­mates have shown this semester, even with scrimmages. 

“Of course I’m sad we didn’t have a season this fall, but it’s incredible seeing the passion and effort from the women,” Dick­erson said. “Some of my closest friends came from playing soccer, and there’s a sense of com­munity that is built by sharing the game together that you can’t find any­where else.”

Dick­erson said the team keeps her moti­vated and gives her some­thing to look forward to. 

“I always look forward to playing soccer in the fall, and this year was no exception, even if it looks a little dif­ferent,” Dick­erson said.