For women on campus interested in playing soccer on a structured team but don’t want the time commitment of a varsity sport, Bowdoin’s new women’s junior varsity (JV) soccer team may be the answer. The team will join the men’s JV soccer team as the only two JV programs on campus.

A women’s JV soccer team existed at Bowdoin up until four years ago but disintegrated due to lack of interest. Sofia Trogu ’19 and Shinhee Kang ’18 decided to bring it back after realizing that Bowdoin’s intramural (IM) soccer program lacked the structure and commitment that they and many of their peers wanted.

“Last year, I did IM soccer in the fall,” said Trogu. “It was really fun, but I remember every single time having to rally five to six people just to have a game. It didn’t feel like the level of organization that I was used to. I missed that and I missed the team dynamic.”

“Both of us have played soccer our whole lives and played competitively in high school,” said Kang. “We both tried intramural sports but missed playing with a group of girls. Since we knew that there was a JV men’s soccer team and that a women’s team had existed in the past, we were determined to make it happen ourselves.”

At the end of last year, Trogu started to gauge interest in a potential team and immediately received lots of enthusiastic responses. Over the summer, she worked with both Student Activities and the Department of Athletics to figure out how to best go about creating the team.

While Trogu and Kang were initially planning on creating a club team, Director of Student Activities Nate Hintze suggested that they work with athletics to get the team going more quickly. Creating a club team would have required going through Bowdoin Student Government’s chartering process, which can take a lot of time. However, to join a JV team, students only have to get cleared, which includes up-to-date physicals and concussion testing before playing.

Trogu wants the team to provide students with the opportunity to play in a more organized environment.

“We’re going to have a roster, but we’re not going to have tryouts,” said Trogu. “It’s basically for anyone who likes to play soccer or wants to be able to play soccer at a very low commitment level, while still having structure, a coach and the support of the athletics department.”

According to Ashmead White Director of Athletics Tim Ryan, Bowdoin used to have a much larger number of JV teams that were feeder programs into the varsity programs. However, due to waning interest, many of these teams evolved into club or IM programs, which allow for more student ownership. JV programs on the other hand are supported by athletics, which provides old uniforms and equipment, as well as a coach.

“With the JV program, we identify a member of our staff that will work with the program and provide professional coaching and mentorship to the students who are involved,” said Ryan.

The team is coached by Women’s Varsity Lacrosse Coach Liz Grote, who also coached the previous JV soccer team.

According to Trogu, setting up matches has been difficult. Grote has already emailed 10-12 colleges and local academies to find potential teams to compete against, but the team has yet to hear back. However, the squad, which currently has about 25 students, is big enough to scrimmage among itself or against the men’s JV team.

Trogu and Kang hope to have practices Tuesday and Wednesday afternoons in addition to scrimmages on Fridays. They plan on organizing optional workouts on other days as well.

Moving forward, Trogu hopes that the team continues to grow and that more people get involved.

“[My goals] are to have a solid roster and be able to see the growth of people who may have just started soccer and maybe even have a game or two,” Trogu said. “Hopefully by next year, we’ll keep getting incoming [first years] so that we don’t lose the size of the team.”