Lopes form unique bond in response to circumstances
By: Maria Adams/GCU Club Sports Writing Staff
More than just teammates.
Grand Canyon University Women’s Club Soccer did not get the chance to compete in the fall and experienced a shortened four-game schedule in the spring. Despite the ongoing limitations, the Lopes proved the value of coming together as a team and leaning on the relationships formed.
“The entire purpose of this year was simply the excitement to play,” said Lopes’ Head Coach Hannah Bolton. “Regardless of the results, the girls just appreciated being together. It was cool to see the friendships that developed over a year that often tried to keep us apart.”
When the time to compete arrived at last, the squad was eager. The Lopes pulled out a clean sweep against Arizona Christian University in the first two games of the condensed season with an impressive 8-1 victory followed by another 3-2 win. In their final two games, GCU tied in the first face-off with the Arizona Storm, then lost the second game to conclude the season.
Win-loss record aside, the Lopes understood there was a lot to be thankful for.
“The fact that we were able to even play four games in the spring felt like a blessing,” said Lopes’ junior Shelby Carson. “The hope that we would eventually be able to compete kept us going, and we finally did get to just play the sport that we love.”
Bolton credits a lot of the resilience the squad demonstrated throughout the season to a core group of newcomers that joined the roster for 2020-21.
“We were able to build a foundation on some of the new freshman faces that we had this year,” said Bolton. “It’s going to give us that base of a solid returning group, and I am excited to see what they do when they come back next year.”
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