The New Playing Field: Girls’ Soccer

COVID-19 has completely changed many aspects of people’s lives and what they are able to do. Sports, specifically girls’ soccer, is no exception. There have been many new rules and regulations put into place that teams must follow in order to have a season that keeps both teams and schools safe. 

Julia Sidopoulos, a senior and three year varsity player for the girls’ soccer team at Nashoba said, “Instead of throw-ins we have kick-ins so that we don’t touch the ball with our hands. These have to stay on the ground which definitely makes it a challenge to get the ball into play.” The players on soccer teams across the state face new challenges that they have never seen or experienced in a game that some of them have been playing for ten plus years. 

In addition to the changes to throw-ins, there is no physical contact allowed between the players. When asked about this, Julia said, “Basically it’s just a lot less contact and the game stops a lot more for Covid calls.” A Covid Call is essentially when a player comes into contact with another player, or if the ball is touched by any part of the body excluding feet. A Covid call results in a yellow card each time the call is made. Julia detailed how hard it is adjusting to all these changes: “It definitely presents challenges that I have never had to face before in a game, and I always have to be thinking about not doing things that I’ve been trained and coached to do for years.” 

Another big change is the opponents that Nashoba plays and how the schedule is structured. Rather than playing an array of teams from across Central Mass, Nashoba is only playing against Harvard, Maynard, Hudson, and Marlboro. There is also no postseason (playoffs) because of the dangers of playing a team from across the state.  Julia commented that “It definitely is disappointing there is no playoffs this year and I would have loved to see where this team could have gone, but I also am so happy that I am still able to play with my best friends for one final year.” 

This year is truly like no other and despite the constantly changing world around us, it is important to look for the silver linings and to not take things for granted, like being able to play the sport you love.