By Anthony Covino
The Northeast Conference’s soccer athletes have banded together in an open letter to League Commissioner Noreen Morris to let them play their seasons in the spring.
Roma McLaughlin, a Central Connecticut All America soccer player, led the petition.
The letter was first reported by The Recorder, the student-run news service at Central Connecticut State University in New Britain.
Because of the coronavirus pandemic, the league this summer decided to postpone the fall sports season. The presidents of the league’s schools are weighing plans for the resumption of sports competition but have not announced their decision.
According to The Recorder, all the men’s and women’s soccer players in the league support the letter to the commissioner to play the postponed fall season in the spring — with appropriate COVID-19 protocols in place and a fair but competitive schedule for each school.
The letter states, “As a unified body for both men’s and women’s soccer we strongly feel that a competitive NEC soccer season occur in the spring for the following reasons:
- Soccer is an imperative component of our college experience
- Due to circumstances including funds, education pathways and future plans, the option of accepting a fifth year of eligibility is not a reality for many of our seniors
- Some of us have aspirations of continuing into professional careers. The inability to play competitively for an entire year would be detrimental towards our progress and we do not wish to be forced to leave the college soccer pathway early in order to achieve this.
- Ultimately as student-athletes, competing in our sports is part of our identity”
The message is clear: These soccer athletes are eager to get back on the field.
The cancellation of the fall season has not stopped soccer players at FDU from keeping up with their fitness and training in hopes of a future season.
“I would love to play soccer again with my team and compete with other schools in our division,” junior defender Christa Waterman told The Equinox.
Meantime, Waterman is doing the things that a top athlete does to prepare for competition.
“I have been training with the ball every day to work on my touches, skills, and footwork to have the feel of the ball with me,” she said. “I also do long runs, sprint variations, and strength and conditioning. They allow me to stay strong on the ball and enable me to compete to the best of my ability when I am finally able to take part in soccer at FDU again.”
Art by Anthony Covino