By the students, for the students of Central Washington University

The Observer

By the students, for the students of Central Washington University

The Observer

By the students, for the students of Central Washington University

The Observer

Honoring CWU women’s soccer seniors

Players embracing the seniors. Photo credit Jacob Thompson
The CWU women’s soccer team celebrates their seniors after ending the game with a 1-1 score. (Photo courtesy of Jacob Thompson / Thompson Sports Media)

The seniors’ final game was against Saint Martin’s University (SMU) on the frigid fall evening of Saturday, Nov. 4, at Tomlinson Stadium. The teams were closely matched, with neither side scoring until there were 23 minutes left in the second half.

It was during this game that the CWU women’s soccer team honored their seven seniors, forwards Peyton Vogel, Grace Jackson and Cass Andrews as well as defenders Tess Sparks, Finn Sprankle, Payton Lindell and Jaxyn Farmen for their time on the team.

Junior midfielder Casey Park brought CWU into the lead by scoring on a penalty kick. CWU was in the lead until, with two minutes left on the clock, SMU midfielder Rayvn Mummey scored to end the game in a tie.

“It was a tough way to go out,” CWU Head Women’s Soccer Coach Lindsey Lee said. “I thought we were going to find a way to win the game at the end of it, but in the end, the ladies played with their hearts and that is how we hope they remember their time here.”

As the seniors prepare to leave, Coach Lee said that she fondly reflected on their time at CWU.

“They brought a great light and energy to training,” Lee said. “However I think it’s their willingness to move the program forward that we will miss the most. As a coaching staff we are forever grateful for that.”

A common answer to the question of what advice these upperclassmen would pass along to their freshmen selves was to soak up every moment, emphasizing that it’s a once-in-a-lifetime experience with lots of close friendships and memories to be made along the way.

Farmen’s favorite moments were “traveling with the girls. The bus rides, hotel stays, and dinners were always so much fun.”

For many of them, it has been a rewarding yet difficult journey. According to Lee, they are positive and resilient – always maintaining joy, even when it’s a grind.

“College soccer is not an easy thing to stick through. After COVID and being in the pandemic, I went through a year of knee surgery recovery and didn’t think I’d ever return to play,” Vogel said. “Coming back to play was the best decision for myself and I’m so glad I did.”

According to Sparks, soccer could sometimes be draining on her physical, mental and emotional health. She had to remind herself that everything was going to be alright and that she was getting to do what her younger self had always dreamed of.

Andrews described her journey to college soccer as being an atypical one. She graduated high school not believing that she was good enough to become a collegiate athlete and decided not to reach out to any teams because of her self-doubt.

With continued work and the help of a few coaches along the way, Andrews made it onto the team.

“Now I am leaving CWU on a 1.0 scholarship, and I wouldn’t have traded this journey for the world,” Andrews said.

The seniors all have bright futures ahead of them, encompassing paths such as fashion design, dentistry, law school, behavior analysis, professional soccer and elementary education, among other pursuits.

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