While the past ten months have been a whirlwind for all, the current Cal Women’s soccer team began to see a twinkle of light at the end of the tunnel in early January when the talk of a spring season was finally confirmed. On brand with how 2020 played out, this season will look unlike any other in the history of Cal women’s soccer. With that being said, we dive into the “new” look of Cal women’s soccer in the wake of a global pandemic.
On an overcast morning in March, many players sat in the training room underneath Memorial stadium receiving treatment when an immediate shockwave was delivered via text. A text that read for an emergency team meeting and unbeknownst to us, would be our last team gathering of 2020. After being sent home in March of 2020, it was not until January 4th of the previous year that the Cal Women’s Soccer team would reconvene and return back to work. Challenges of training opportunities, isolation, resources, were just few of the many faced by players during this time. In one word, our return to campus is methodical. Weekly testing, social distancing protocols, and contact tracing are just a few of the many practices in place to ensure our safety while playing this spring. While challenges were thrown at us from left and right, one thing is certain, our eagerness to get back to the game we love. We work off this theme of excitement, freshness, and patience as we look toward our opening game at Oregon State on February 26th.
As we look towards a fourteen game endeavor, the 2021 golden bears will consist of eighteen returners, ten freshmen, and a sophomore transfer from the University of San Francisco. Building off a Fall 2019 team that made an NCAA tournament appearance and striked big upset wins against UCLA, USC, and Santa Clara, the Golden Bears return many experienced veterans such as, senior captain Emily Smith, Pac-12 goalkeeper of the year, Angelina Anderson and senior forward, Emma Westin. In addition, the golden bears are joined by sophomore transfer, Keely Roy. Due to Covid-19 protocols, the Bears will strictly compete against Pac-12 schools until the NCAA tournament. In addition, competition will be held at the Witter Rugby Field as opposed to Edwards Stadium for the duration of this spring.
While the future is somewhat unpredictable, I speak for the current team when I say that we are extremely eager and excited to compete and showcase the talent of our group this spring.
You will find our games on the Pac-12 network and as always, Go Bears!