Soccer Team Has Fighting Spirit 

Billings nets goal in final minutes


Photo Courtesy of the Athletic Department

Aubrey Billings, sophomore, prepares to take a corner kick.l Billings had a goal in the final minutes against SVU.

Abigail McGovern, Staff Writer

Navigate Left
Navigate Right
Navigate Left
Navigate Right

Dusk falls over the field. The fluorescent stadium lights reflect off the bleachers. The crickets in the dark trees beyond the fence chirp a cheerful song, and the crowd roars in answer. 

On the evening of Tues., Sept. 13, Ferrum’s women’s soccer team played at home against Southern Virginia University. The team lost 2-1, but junior Aubrey Billings scored a goal in the last six minutes of the game, and the spirit among the team remained high. 

According to Head Coach Erin Saleeby, Southern Virginia is one of the best teams Ferrum has played so far. 

Ferrum’s team also faced a steeper disadvantage by playing on the turf football field, rather than their usual grass soccer field, due to an accumulation of the previous day’s rain. Nevertheless, Saleeby is still proud of her team. 

“We’ve just gotten better and better every game,” Saleeby said. “Every time we’ve stepped on the field, we’re getting better and better, and that’s what it’s about.” 

This sentiment is echoed by junior Sarah Crawford, who plays outside forward. Crawford came off the sidelines during the second half of the game, but remained supportive even when not playing. 

“The energy on the sideline always helps when they’re down a little bit, so we on the sideline want to make sure we’re keeping them high energy, high intensity,” said Crawford.  “I think once the end of the first half kind of came, things picked up a little bit, and we definitely fought very, very hard in the second half.” 

And the team did not go into the fight unprepared. When preparing for the game against Southern Virginia, both the coach and the players had a strategy. 

“I kind of noticed that there was an ability for us to potentially press their defenders at times, which we won a couple balls from doing that and almost got a couple goals,” said Saleeby. “Today, our style of play was very possession oriented, and we wanted to make sure we were doing that.” 

Billings stated that she, too, had some strategy for this game. 

“I’ve been doing extra work with one of the coaches, working on kicks in general,” Billings said. “So going up to that kick, I felt very confident because I’ve been practicing those range hits, and as soon as it hit…you just know a good kick when it hits.” 

Billings also added that she is extremely proud of her goal:

“It felt good to come off the sidelines and make that impact on the team when we were losing 2-0 with five, six minutes left,” she said. “And we fought until the very last minute.” 

The players say, this fighting spirit is what sets them apart from other teams, and what makes this season already better than ther last. 

“There’s definitely a very different atmosphere this season than there was last year,” said Crawford. “It just feels like there’s this hunger amongst all of us just ready to go for it, ready to do everything.” 

Billings also agreed that the team’s heart is where they get their strength. 

“We’re definitely a family-based group in general and we all care for one another, and we’re definitely not strangers at all. No matter where we are,” Billings said. 

Coach Saleeby sees this tight team bond as a source of strength for her team and its future and has a lot of hope for the season ahead of them. 

“It’s just heart,” Saleeby said. “They just have a lot this year, and that can take you over the edge sometimes.” 

Though the team lost on Tuesday it has won  two other games and tied one so far this season. The strength of Ferrum’s women’s soccer team is their players, their team bond and their fighting spirit. Even through losses, they remain unfazed and intend to use this bond to carry them through the rest of the season.