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The Student News Site of Joshua High School

The Owl Flight

The Student News Site of Joshua High School

The Owl Flight

The Student News Site of Joshua High School

The Owl Flight

Girls Have Goals Too

Lady’s Soccer Team
Robin Combs

Soccer has one mission.

Get the ball in the goal.

It’s also about the team, being one on the field and always having each other’s back.

Soccer season started last month for the Lady Owl Soccer team. They are under the leadership of Jeff Brooks. Additionally, this year’s captains are seniors Abigale Miller and Madison Bourzikas. 

“I love soccer, because when I’m on the field, nothing else in the world matters,” Bourzikas said. “It also gives me an opportunity to meet people and create relationships I never would have known without the sport.”

The team has worked hard to prepare for the season; previous games have confirmed that the dynamic of the team can make everything possible. The Lady Owls won six out of seven already played matches and tied once. On Jan. 26, they won against Cleburne at home. 

“You win and lose together,” junior Avery Gortney said. “It’s like a family and you can always depend on your teammates.” 

About 60% of the girls on the team want to continue soccer after graduation. Bourzikas will play at Angelo State University after summer. For the rest, the sport will stay as an amazing high school memory. 

Unlike other countries, it’s rather rare for girls to play soccer. When a sport is not offered at schools or the clubs only feature boy’s teams, it is difficult for girls to fight against the stereotype that soccer is a man’s sport. That all girls who play soccer are homosexual. The prejudice is hard to overcome. 

In Europe, soccer is a huge deal. While it is stereotypically a man’s sport, women often experience discrimination. Stadiums on men’s game days are completely full, while the women will play with smaller audiences. According to a survey in 2020, 83% women within soccer have been discriminated against, sexually harassed or have experienced sexism. 

“Women can not get away from it,” Gortney said. “Women are always judged by men, because sometimes we can’t do everything a man can.  But, we still work as hard or even harder than they do. That’s what people don’t see.” 

Without a doubt, there are major gender differences in the dynamic of the game, but that doesn’t affect the quality of the game. Those differences are impacted by how men and women’s bodies are built. Most people grew up watching men’s soccer, because at the time it was even less common for women to play soccer. 

The Football Association banned women’s soccer for almost fifty years in England on Dec. 5, 1921. The reason was: “The game of football is quite unsuitable for females and should not be encouraged.” 

“I think it would be nice to have more attention,” Miller said, “I feel like those who understand soccer appreciate both men and women [players] but those who are unfamiliar tend to just focus on the men’s side.” 

Just a few years ago women’s soccer was little known, especially in Europe. Things changed after England won the European Champions League. Ever since, there have been record crowds all over the world. Goals were reached that only men could do before. 

During the Euro’s 2022, the Wembley stadium in England was sold out for the first time, as Germany and England fought for the trophy. 87,192 people watched the game; that was more people than there were ever at a men’s game. Among the professional players, men receive a higher salary than women for doing the exact same job. It doesn’t matter who puts more effort into the work, women will always be the runner up. 

“I feel like the difference in salary is a bit unfair, because at the end of the day they are all playing the same game but one gets more money because of their gender,” Bourzikas said. 

Discrimination doesn’t only take place in the salary but also physically. Enough men have been rude to girls or women who are playing soccer. Males often assume that females aren’t as good as their male counterparts, because their physical appearance and boundaries are different. Most young girls have experienced some sort of discrimination, outside of or in the sport. They are under the pressure of people not understanding that gender doesn’t really matter. Until we don’t stop discrimination nothing will ever change. 

“This sport has always been seen as a man’s sport,” Gortney said. “So, sometimes I feel like I am in the background and I feel I am always being judged because I’m not a man.” 

Go and support our ladies for their next game! Go Owls!

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About the Contributor
Laura Hapke, Reporter
Laura Hapke is an exchange student from Germany and is staying in Texas for the next ten months to live as a junior in an American high school.  When she is not in school, she is passionate about dance. In her free time, she reads and writes. Hapke would describes herself as humorous. If she could have music playing in the background of her life, she would want Tate McRae or Taylor Swift. She is a huge fan of women’s soccer. She is most proud of the fact that her first flight ever was alone and to another continent, showing she is a very positive and open-minded person. 
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    kameron tatumFeb 3, 2024 at 12:43 PM

    this is an amazing article!