Syracuse women’s club soccer eyeing a second-straight trip to nationals

first_imgUPDATED: Oct. 11, 2017 at 11:10 a.m.Syracuse hadn’t given up a goal all season until it played Temple in the regional playoffs of the club team championships. That’s when everything changed.“We just left the field defeated,” said Rachel Becker, a senior captain. “It was like this crazy season we just had, not letting up any goals, it just ended because we had a bad half.”After a 2-1 loss to the Owls, SU thought it would not get a bid to the national tournament. Seemingly, its once promising season had ended, until it didn’t.Several hours later, Becker received an unexpected phone call. The Orange had made the 2016 NIRSA National Soccer Championships in Foley, Alabama, the club team finals.AdvertisementThis is placeholder text“When I got the call saying we were going, our first reaction was ‘Wow, this is real,’” Becker said. “It sounds corny to say, but it was like our dreams came true.”But SU’s dreams of accepting the bid to play at nationals carried a hard reality: They had to raise $40,000.Club sports, unlike varsity counterparts, aren’t funded by SU Athletics. To make the trip to Alabama, the team needed to raise the money itself. The costs came out to thousands per person, including airfare, hotels, rental cars, food and a $20 per-person entry fee.“It was surreal,” junior defender Hannah Duerr said. “… I remember sitting in the car, and some of the senior girls were like, ‘We can’t accept the bid, we can’t commit to anything,’ because we didn’t have any money.”The girls at first decided it was unlikely they’d come up with the money. The tournament was also the weekend before Thanksgiving and would interfere with class. But the team knew it had to at least try.For the next week, the team honed in on fundraising and soon, priorities changed. Raising money for Alabama came first and class came second.The team emailed everyone they knew, including chancellor Kent Syverud. They started a GoFundMe page. Family and friends immediately supported the team and it seemed like “everyone just donated $5-$10,” sophomore outside back Isabel Reedy said.But there was one promotion in particular that paid off big time.In the early stages of seeking donations, the team decided to reach out to the Twitter page, “@SoccerGirlProbs,” a popular women’s soccer fan page that has more than 200,000 followers. The account responded.“They were like, ‘This is awesome,’” Becker said. “’What do we need to do to help?’”After the account tweeted the GoFundMe, donations skyrocketed. The team reached its goal. They had raised $40,000 in just a week, and the team was officially headed to Foley.SU finished 1-2-1 at the national tournament, beating Arizona, tying Colorado State, and losing to Wisconsin and Cal Poly. After the defeat, Syracuse readied itself for another shot at nationals. Practice began last spring, and the team has been practicing indoors recently.“It is a lot of scary because we lost a lot of girls from last year,” Duerr said. “But based from what I’ve seen so far — from the work everyone is putting in to the support everyone is all showing — I don’t see a reason we can’t push for nationals again.”CORRECTION: In a previous version of this post, the location of the 2016 NIRSA National Soccer Championships was misstated. The tournament was held in Foley, Alabama. The Daily Orange regrets this error.CORRECTION: In a previous version of this post, the length of time between SU’s loss to the Owls and Rachel Becker’s phone call was misstated. Becker was contacted several hours after the game. The Daily Orange regrets this error. Comments Facebook Twitter Google+ Published on October 9, 2017 at 10:56 pm Contact Jesse: jnadelma@syr.edulast_img read more