Same Field, New Fans

Girls soccer finds new fans after quarantine


by Olivia Murphy, staff

Crowded stands. Slippery bleachers. Messy cheers shouted by a hundred students all at once. If you’ve ever been to a varsity football game, you know exactly what I’m describing. The student section of the games is consistently hyped, loud, and focused on motivating the players through cheer-led chants. 


However, if you’ve ever been to a varsity girls soccer game in previous years, the student section couldn’t be any more different.


More often than not, the fan population at girl’s soccer games would consist of parents, younger siblings, and the few cheerleaders that were required to attend. But, this year there’s been a significant change in both who comes to their games and how many new fans there are.


Captain Eile Goett, a senior, said that during her freshman year there were maybe five to ten people in the student section during games, but since the beginning of this school year there has been “just a surplus of fans at games.”


The other captains, Jadyn Smith, Morgan Manalili, and Kaitlyn Manalili, all seniors, agreed that there’s been so many more fans at their home games this year and that the incredible increase in fan attendance has had a super positive impact on team spirit.


Smith said that even during halftime when they’re no longer playing they “have to smile, the fans just pick us up by cheering so loud.”


The team has been using social media to spread the word about their games a lot more this year than in the past. On their instagram page (@shorewoodsoccer) they’ve been posting to let followers know when the games are, who they’re against, and what the theme is.


Themed games have been a thing of football games in the past, but soccer joining in on including themes has really boosted fan spirit. The previous themes have been Spirit/Blue Out, Dress Up Like a Senior Citizen (for Senior Night), and Dress Like Adam Sandler. Themes have been mostly thought of by Morgan and Kaitlyn Manalili, and players and fans alike have shown their enjoyment of the creativity of the themes.


“I really don’t know how they think of the themes,” said Smith. “They come up with whatever they think will be funny, and I’m honestly just as surprised as the fans to see what [the theme] is for each game.”


Manalili says the fan support has been instrumental in the team’s success this year. She said: “[The fans] are all really encouraging and their support makes us feel like we need to do good because everyone is there watching. It’s good pressure, it keeps our adrenaline going. The fans’ energy really never goes away and it keeps our energy up throughout the game.”