Varsity soccer kicks off season with new field

As+Archer%27s+soccer+team+begin+their+season%2C+they+have+the+opportunity+to+play+games+at+home+due+to+the+new+regulation+size+field.+

Photo credit: Nicki Rosenberg

As Archer's soccer team begin their season, they have the opportunity to play games at home due to the new regulation size field.

As varsity soccer begins its season, playing games with a home-field advantage is a change for the team. 

The players, coaches, students, faculty and staff can now play and practice on campus. Having an on-campus field allows the team to make the late bus and meet with their teachers before practice.

While high school soccer field regulation size for a grass field is 55 yards wide by 100 yards long, the Archer field is ten yards wider and three yards shorter. As a result, Archer is permitted to play non-league games, similar to scrimmages, at home.

“There are a lot of people that love the game of soccer,” Assistant Director of Athletics and assistant soccer coach Amelia Mathis said, “so we just wanted to expand the field, especially for our players.”

With the new expansion, the student body can easily come and support the team at home games. 

“Encouraging more students to watch by having that field, we’re able to build our program because then we have more and more people watching us play,” Mathis said, “especially people that wouldn’t typically be able to due to the games being away.”

This increased turnout helps school spirit among the Archer community as well as the team, according to sophomore soccer player Isabella Specchierla.

“It feels really nice to have the support of the Archer community,” she said. “It’s easier for our team to be able to play in Archer’s backyard rather than traveling. It feels more at home.” 

The expansion of the field to fit regulation size has given the Archer community the opportunity to watch their team play at home without having to travel to Santa Monica College. 

“You get a lot more of your friends, teachers and peers to come out and support you,” senior co-captain Sophie Larbalestier said. “I think that makes a big difference in how we play as a team because it’s like a home-field advantage.”

It feels really nice to have the support of the Archer community. It’s easier for our team to be able to play in Archer’s backyard rather than traveling, it feels more at home. ”

— Isabella Specchierla

Due to the field, “team morale and spirit” have been more prevalent within practices and games, Larbalestier said.

“It’s super exciting also to be senior and play at home, especially because a lot of people haven’t seen an Archer soccer game,” Larbalestier said. “It also gets the team really pumped up because they want to represent Archer soccer really well.”

However, one change that has come from playing games at Archer is the ability to play warmup music. During the first game of the season a neighbor complained about the volume of the warmup music and as a result there are now restrictions, like only being able to play the music at volume two when at Archer, according to Kim Smith, Director of Athletics.

“It is kind of a letdown. When we play at SMC we can always blast [music] which is really fun.” Senior Maya Bridwell said, “But, our team is also all really close and we are all talking and laughing a lot of the time so there’s not a huge void…Getting pumped up for the game comes from us, not the music.”

Overall the opportunity to play at home is considered a bonding experience for the team, not only in games but also at practice. 

“I think it really helps the team get tight, bonded and connected, too,” Larbalestier said. “I totally prefer playing there rather than off-campus.”