ASHLAND, Ore. — A long-awaited return to the field was moved back as smoke rolled into the Rogue Valley, forcing the Southern Oregon University's soccer teams inside. But what's one more day after nearly two years without a fall soccer season, right?
That was the sentiment Wednesday morning during the women's soccer practice. The first day of practices was a bit anti-climatic, but a welcome return nonetheless. Smoke and August practices seem to go hand-in-hand.
"This happens every year so it's not that big of a deal," women's soccer fifth-year senior Trinity Rhoades said after the Wednesday morning practice. "It [will be] nice to have a full field to work with to be able to play realistically and on a surface that is familiar to us."
In the meantime, the teams will practice indoors to stay out of the smoke-filled air that can have adverse effects for those running outdoors. They're training and planning ahead for the start of the 2021 fall season which gets started at the end of the month.
For one of the women's soccer players, a fall season means she doesn't have to choose between two sports. Former North Valley soccer and track and field stand-out Baylee Touey is back with the team. She used the spring 2020 season to focus on track while still making time to practice with the soccer team.
"I'm so excited to be back. I can't wait to get rolling again," Touey said. "Having this first practice, even though it's indoors, I mean, it's fun just to be around all these girls. And missing out on last year, even though I was able to practice with them, it wasn't the same without games so I'm really excited to get back."
The men's and women's soccer teams open up regular-season play on August 28th at The Master's University.