Soccer Should Stay in the Stadium

By Sam Cary, Sports Photo Editor

With both girls lacrosse and girls soccer wanting to be on the stadium field this season, the current issue is who should have the turf. Though we are both school sponsored sports, girls soccer should have the ability to practice on the turf.

There is one glaring argument that triumphs all others: field quality. As soccer players, the name of the game is that the ball is on the ground majority of the time. With this in mind, as a program how are we supposed to improve if we cannot pass a ball without it bouncing yards off target? The quality of the upper grass field is poor, as there are plenty of areas with bad grass and holes that easily lead to injuries and inaccurate passing.

To go along with this, every single game that we play is on a turf field. If we play actual games in these conditions, then why shouldn’t we practice in them as well? As a program, we are only at more of a disadvantage against other teams in our division if we are not given the opportunity to practice on an adequate field.

Another issue with the field is simply location. For soccer in general, our shots easily go six to seven feet off the ground, much higher than lacrosse. Once we get goals up to the field, which we do not currently have, there is the possibility that shots will go over the net. If you imagine our upper field, a missed shot is going to fly over the three foot fence and straight into shot put practice. I highly doubt that they want flying soccer balls constantly disrupting their practice.

Practice time is valuable for every sport, and this is especially true for high school soccer. For lacrosse, this tends to be the first time they have played, this means that every experience with the sport has been together and with the same coach. This allows for the team to always be on the same page and all learn plays with the same techniques. On the other hand, girls start playing soccer at a young age. This means that by freshman year girls have had many different teammates, with different coaches and extremely different soccer backgrounds. The extra practice time gained by practicing on the turf allows for us to ensure we are connected with how we plan to move the ball and utilize certain opportunities like set plays on the field.

Also, every other team in our conference practices on their respective turf fields. What this means is that when a rainy day occurs every other team will be practicing meanwhile we will have to call off due to field conditions. This puts us at an extreme disadvantage going into our season of intense close games with our district rivals where the smallest advantage can easily be the difference in a win or a loss.

I do understand that lacrosse has never had the turf, but they are only in their third year of being a sport at FHN whereas girls soccer has accolades such as a state championship win under our belt. With these ideas in mind, girls soccer should have control of the turf for practice moving into the rest of the spring high school season.