When most college women’s soccer teams
play, fans are few. But when the Macalester women’s
soccer team hits the turf, the stands are packed with boisterously cheering supporters. Mac’s women’s soccer team, a longtime powerhouse that qualified for the national playoffs last year, enjoys a solid fan base of students, faculty and staff, and family members, all bolstered by the international flavor unique to the Mac campus. New head women’s soccer coach, Kate Ryan Reiling ’00, points to Macalester’s multicultural makeup as one big factor behind the turnout—which usually comes to at least 200 fans each game: “The strong international base of students who grew up watching soccer . . . helps to create the culture of getting out to games.” [That same tradition probably helped inspire Macalester’s World Cup Soccer Camp, designed by Danny Calderon ’11 and hosted on campus last summer.]
But global citizenship aside, Reiling says that the spirited team and the party-like atmosphere of the Friday night games create an enthusiastic fan base who “bring high energy and great joy” to the matches. Their ranks will likely be swollen this year by alumni who fondly remember the exploits of Reiling’s own 1998 NCAA Division III championship- winning team.
Veteran midfielder Lauryn Gutierrez ’11 (Hickory, N.C.) describes the teams’ fans as “loyal and devoted…we’ve had trumpet serenades to accompany the wittiest, most rambunctious cheers ever,” she says. Her favorite is the Mac Jig-A-Lo, which culminates in the audience and team dancing a jig.
—Kalie Caetano ’13
Editor’s note: As of late September, the men’s soccer team record was 7–2–1.