Jennifer Howard | Staff Writer

First point for Wood Ducks. Image courtesy of Austin Schoppmann
First point for Wood Ducks. Image courtesy of Austin Schoppmann

Spring semester last year I saw a flyer hung up at West campus about the women’s upcoming soccer season. Intrigued, I read the flyer and decided to email the coach, Bret DeGayner, to get more information about the program.

Fast-forward a couple months and I am playing on the team with seventeen other girls. I had never played serious soccer before so I didn’t know what to expect.

I learned that women’s soccer at Century has been running strong for over half a decade now however, many students are unaware of the athletic programs Century has to offer.

When I went to that first practice in the beginning days of August, I was nervous but also hugely excited. It was steaming hot on the field; the sun blasted heat waves scorching our tanning skin. Although the weather conditions weren’t ideal, practice forged ahead. We played vigorously for two hours all the while getting to know each other.

Last minutes of the game. Image courtesy of Austin Schoppmann
Last minutes of the game.   Image courtesy of Austin Schoppmann




I knew committing to this team would be hard; we practiced for almost ten hours each week. Additionally, soccer is a very physically demanding sport; being in shape is a must. Despite these requirements, I knew that not playing on the team would be a huge regret.

Fast-forward again and the season is almost over. After 12 games, more than 100 practices, and a whole lot of fun we are playing against Anoka-Ramsey in the post-season tournament at the University of Northwestern. It is a beautiful day, no less than 60 degrees, with the warmth of the sun spraying our backs.

Bret gives us a pep talk before the kick-off, “Be the hardest-working team out there…. It doesn’t matter if we win or lose.” He tells us to go out there and do our best.

We end up losing by one measly goal but it doesn’t matter because I know next year we have another shot and I know that we have never played better.

I leave the field with a smile on my face, thinking back to when that 8.5×11 poster caught my attention in the hallway of the science building. I could have easily thought of countless reasons not to play, but I am so grateful that I ignored them.

“They’re like my second family!” Hannah Pah, 18, from St. Paul, says about our team. “They make me happy.”

As I look back on the season, I remember how much fun we all had and how amazing friendships developed because of it.

Warm up. Image courtesy of Austin Schoppmann
Warm up.  Image courtesy of Austin Schoppmann

“My favorite memory was training with the girls!” Tha Mi Nyw, 23, from St. Paul, reveals about the soccer season. “It was really fun!”

I encourage students to get involved with athletics at Century. If not women’s soccer, there’s also men’s soccer, men’s baseball and women’s softball.

Getting involved with athletics at Century was an amazing experience. I wouldn’t trade it for anything.

To learn more about women’s soccer at Century contact coach Bret DeGayner at

To learn more about athletics at Century visit