The women’s club soccer team at ETSU was formed in 2013. Since then, the club has both risen and fallen in terms of skill and competition-level, but things are starting to pick up again this spring season with more games and more reliable members.
In the fall, the club won two games and lost two games, being most evenly matched (and winning) a game against the UTK women’s club team.
“We have won some games and we have an actual coach and more committed players,” said Ashton Higareda, president of the club team.
This has been a major factor in success that was missing from the team last season. During half of fall of 2015 and all of spring 2016 the club did not have a formal coach.
However, it was lucky when former player Lisa Swearingen decided to break away from the playing aspect of the game and move into the coach’s role.
Coach Swearingen, is a graduate student at ETSU working in a combined program towards an MS in clinical nutrition with a dietetic internship. She was part of the team as a player in the Fall of 2015, but after suffering one too many ankle injuries decided it was time to step away from the game in that respect.
Now, coming back in the Fall of 2016 as a coach, Swearingen is happy to be part of the sport without the aches and pains it puts on the body and to improve a club that is still getting started.
“As a retired player and now coach I see glimpses of success from the current team,” said Swearingen. “They have started a great foundation, but of course there is still room for improvement.”
While the club now has a coach, it is important to continue recruiting for the seasons to come. A lack of interest in officers last semester almost caused the club to dismember, but Higareda and three others stepped into the position of leadership.
“My role as president is to schedule games, make sure all the officers know what they are supposed to do,” said Higareda. “I also get refs for home games, schedule practices and recruit more players.”
Practices are either held indoors (during the colder winter months), in the lower gym of Brooks Gym or on the side-fields next to the CPA.
The club has traveled to schools like UT-Chattanooga, University of North Carolina and Middle Tennessee State University for games.
When games are held here at ETSU, they are played on the intramural fields behind campus. It is the responsibility of the club to make sure everyone and everything is in order for safe play.
Moving forward, Swearingen is looking for ways to improve the club.
“I want the girls to build on their team chemistry and relationships with one another and general fundamentals,” said Swearingen. “Both of which tend to get over looked, but are crucial in being a successful team.”