COVID-19 case on men’s soccer team postpones first game

Players stay confident after setback

Gabe Sta Maria, Staff Reporter

Illustration by Gabrialla Cockerell

As Seattle Pacific University’s men’s soccer team prepared for its first matchup of the season against the University of Washington, their preparation came to a screeching halt due to a positive COVID-19 test from one of the Falcon players, cancelling the game.

“We had a Zoom call as a team yesterday morning in which the coaches, athletic trainer and athletic director just told us the news and told us the next steps for our quarantine and such,” said Senior defender Nik Reierson in an email on Thursday. “The team and myself were pretty gutted about the game getting canceled. We have already had a huge break from games over the past year so we were definitely pretty bummed about having to miss another game.”

The team will have to undergo a quarantine period and then will plan to start training again for future matchups throughout spring quarter. According to a guiding document released by the NCAA sports science institute, certain protocols must take place when a student-athlete becomes infected. Infected individuals require at least 10 days of isolation after the first positive test.

Senior forward Titus Grant was another upperclassman who looks forward optimistically after a slight disappointment.

“We are playing during a pandemic and stuff happens,” said Grant in an email. “We will be playing more games in the Spring quarter. The schedule has yet to be released, but there is hope that these games can be streamed so family and friends can support from home if they are not allowed in the stadium.”

Reierson also explained his willingness to still train and practice for soccer while handling strict safety precautions.

“Practicing in the midst of the pandemic hasn’t been too different really. Besides the mask, you honestly forget about the pandemic for the two hours of training each day,” said Reierson. “I think it acts as an escape for a lot of us and lets us do something we love to do. When we get in the zone the pandemic seems to disappear.”

Grant spoke about being able to practice with the entirety of the team this quarter.

“In the fall we were limited to groups of five and that limits what you can do in practice,” said Grant. “This quarter we were able to have full team training and it has been a lot better. We can scrimmage and play games which is beneficial for our growth as a team.”

Reierson described head coach Mark Collings response to the postponed match.

“Mark is a pretty steady guy, so he was obviously bummed about the situation like we were, but handled it professionally and ensured to stay positive,” said Reierson.

Even in a missed opportunity to play, Reierson spoke on the team’s optimistic and confident mentality preparing for their first matchup of the soccer season.

“The mentality going into the game was to play the way we have been training to play. The opponent doesn’t really matter. We just wanted to focus on ourselves and ensure we got better and executed the ideas and skills we have been targeting at training.”