Addition of women’s soccer club team makes waves on campus

A women’s club soccer team has recently been added to APU’s campus. Sophomore studio art major Jessica Paddock created and leads the new team.

“I wanted to continue playing soccer in college, but I didn’t have the time to commit to the school’s team, and intramurals weren’t competitive enough,” Paddock said. “I decided to form a club team. I’ve been playing soccer since I was four years old, and at first I thought I wouldn’t miss it, but I really did.”

The club team competes in the West Coast Soccer Association, which includes other school club teams such as Cal State Fullerton, Loyola Marymount University, San Diego State University, Cal State San Bernardino, the Claremont Colleges and Cal State Channel Islands. Their season goes from September to early November.

“We have two part-time coaches, Jordan Borghei and Devin Sanders, who coach us one day a week and on game days,” Paddock said. “The other two days of practice, I will lead with our other two co-captains, Madelynne Kutcher and Guilanna Arza.”

Kutcher, a sophomore kinesiology major, shared the same desire to be playing soccer again.

“When you play soccer for so long and have it be such a big part of your life, it could be so difficult to let it go after high school,” Kutcher said. “When I heard about the listing for a women’s club team, I jumped at the opportunity because the time commitment is perfect for me, and I just get to enjoy soccer again.”

There are two seniors, five juniors, four sophomores and nine freshmen on the team. Samantha Espinoza, a freshman kinesiology major, expresses her excitement to be a part of this new club team.

“It feels absolutely amazing to be back doing what I love,” Espinoza said. “I didn’t get to try out for the actual school team because I was late on which school I would choose. I saw a sign for club soccer and was told it’s a level under the actual team and was intrigued. I felt [like] part of the team right away. Most of the girls are older, and they feel like big sisters. I’m glad I’ve found forever friends.”

Kutcher described the importance of team chemistry during the game and for their future games.

“Going into the game, I was curious to see how our team chemistry would be, because obviously all the girls are good as individuals, but in the team atmosphere, it could be totally different,” Kutcher said. “This game proved that our team chemistry is really good, but there are always other things to improve on in our game.”

The women played against Mount St. Mary’s University this past Saturday, and it ended in the Cougars’ favor with a shutout.

“It was a really great way to start off our season with that win,” Paddock said. “Before the game, we were in our huddle and we just wanted to get out there and play. Win or lose, it was God’s game, and we were going to give all the glory to Him.”

The women’s soccer club team will have their next home game against Cal State. Channel Islands on Oct. 14.