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Student Activities funding provides women’s club soccer with new equipment and opportunities

October 14, 2022

Due to the efforts of its current and former players, this fall marks the first year that the Bowdoin women’s club soccer team is funded by the College. In previous years, the club has gone unfunded and has been entirely student run. Now that they are a registered club through the Student Activities Office, the women’s club soccer team is looking forward to running more in-depth practices and competing against clubs from other Maine schools.

Athletic captain Michy Martinez ’23 said that receiving funding was a major reason for bringing the team under the umbrella of Student Activities.

“We wanted to make sure we had an adequate amount of money in order to get games scheduled, get gear and make practices fluid,” she said.

The club, in its original conception, was the brainchild of Eva Dowd ’22. Dowd had the idea for an official club team during the Covid-19 lockdown. Before the pandemic, non-varsity soccer players interested in playing at Bowdoin were encouraged to play on the co-ed club soccer team. However, the team makeup was predominately male.

“During my first year there were only one or two women on the team,” Dowd said.

Dowd posted a poll on Instagram to gauge interest in a women’s club soccer team and received an abundance of positive responses. Over the past year, there has been a surge in membership. The team now has upwards of 20 players.

This is a big accomplishment for the club, because one main obstacle that the team has faced in the past has been consistency. Without funding, the club has struggled to maintain a full roster of players.

“We’d only have about ten people who consistently showed up, which made it a little difficult to run a full practice. Since we didn’t have funding, we couldn’t try to play other schools, so we were just working with what we had,” player Jillian Horton ’24 said. “The club also ran into problems with equipment, usually relying on the players themselves to provide balls for practice.”

The funding has helped the club to purchase new equipment and market itself to new players.

“Being chartered as an official club and starting out this fall with funding was definitely really helpful because we were able to advertise practices, start planning games and reach out to first years to come to the practices,” Horton said.

The club’s efforts have paid off—many of the players are first years. The current leaders hope that with such a strong underclassmen turnout, the club will continue to grow.

The support from Student Activities has also enabled the club’s leaders to focus on playing hard and having a good time.

“[The team allows me] to keep up with my mental health and make sure my body is moving. It’s really easy at this school to get too into the work and forget to be active,” Martinez said.

Martinez added that club sports are an extension of the social scene at Bowdoin and that playing among friends can strengthen relationships.

“You can communicate through words, but I think you can also communicate through soccer. And I think that’s a great way to interact with people and it’s very intimate. So, I like to play with other people,” Martinez said.

Now that the club is official, the team is hoping to recruit even more players who enjoy the game and each other’s company.

“Club soccer is a way for students who simply enjoy the sport to engage with it,” Horton said. The beauty about club sports is that you don’t need to have a certain level of play, because there’s no tryouts. There’s no cut offs. You can just show up.”


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