April 16, 2024
  • 3:04 pm Catawba’s Women Soccer 2023 Season
  • 6:28 pm Catawba Track and Field Prepares for Championship Season
  • 12:57 am Men’s Basketball Caps off Another Successful Season
  • 1:45 pm Give My Regards To Broadway
  • 7:22 pm Catawba Men’s Lacrosse

-Author: Lauren Hackler

There are many words you can use to describe the success of the women’s soccer team but what comes to mind when we think of our women’s soccer team would be the word determination. At the beginning of this season, Catawba women’s soccer was ranked 20th in the United Soccer Coaches Top 25 NCAA Division II women’s national soccer poll. Since then, Catawba women’s soccer has not only climbed up the rankings, but at some point, moved up to first place. With all that being said, this story isn’t being written about their overall success, this story is being written to explore a deeper meaning and message behind Catawba women’s soccer’s success. There are many people to shoutout when thinking about valuable players, but it would be wrong not to shoutout the entire team. This group of players are not only a fantastic team on the field, but they treat one another as if they were family no matter on or off the field. One can see the hard work and dedication each and every player strives to achieve. But what stands out the most is when you watch them play, you can see the passion in each individual player, and it makes you wonder what exactly sets that in place. While many are playing for their individual and team goals or loved ones, there is one thing in common that pushes each player to success this specific season. On March 2nd of 2023, Catawba lost a beloved friend and role model, Coach Chase Tripp. Chase Tripp was the director of Sports Performance and was in charge of training many athletes here at Catawba College. His death made a huge impact on all the athletes here, especially Women’s Soccer. When thinking about Coach Tripp, there is one player in mind that was specifically impacted by him and that would be McKenzee Johnson. To get the full picture of his impact, we believed that she would only have the right words to say.

“During his time as our strength coach, Tripp was heavily invested in our team as a whole as well as our health as individual players. He came to every game that his schedule allowed, and if he wasn’t there in person, he certainly stayed tuned in. He made lift personable, motivational, and FUN. Tripp would always send us into a game fired up and always welcome us postgame with a check-in on how our bodies were and how the game went. He always had a contagious smile on his face and always had an open door to any physical or mental concerns. He always knew what to say for those going through mental battles. He was certainly a part time therapist to many, and he had much impact on me as a person. He was the perfect embodiment of a good, pure, genuine, and joyful human being. His passion for his life gave us passion for ours. When his life was taken, everyone had the same thought. “Now, we play for him. In his name and in his honor”. Tripp always said if he could still be playing sports, he would. So now, Tripp is with us on that field every second of the match. He’s tuned in from Heaven, still firing us up. Next time you come to a game, look for every player wearing a black band around their left leg. Along with a few other lost loved ones, CT is represented with honor and pride on that band. We can’t thank you enough Tripp, but I’m sure winning a National Championship could be a good try.”

This team is filled with tons of talent and if we were to look at one specific player that embodies everything in this program it would be Sydney Jimmo. Jimmo has had an exceptional season thus far and continues to shine each and every game. Since joining the team in 2020, she has made big strides in the program being named to the 2020 All-SAC tournament team, earned First Team All-Conference and All-Region accolades in 2021, earned First Team All-Conference and All-Region accolades in 2022, and named SAC Offensive player of the week from September 5th and September 26th with 17 goals and 6 assists thus far in the 2023 season. When asked about her individual highlights and who she would shoutout on the team for their exceptional efforts, Jimmo said “This season so far, my individual highlights are being able to score in all kinds of games whether they are more difficult and high-stake games or not and as for someone I would shoutout on the team I feel like I could shoutout a lot of different people, but I believe that a team shoutout is necessary. It’s not just me or two other people scoring, it’s a lot of different people scoring every game which is really fun and cool to see that the level doesn’t drop no matter who is on the field. If I had to pick a player that I would specifically shout out, it would be Morgan Delair. I think she has shown her growth this year and shown who she is as a player on and off the field.”

Many decisions are made on and off the field in a student-athlete’s career that can make or break their success and Sydney Jimmo has shown great strength in making the proper decisions to give herself and her team the best opportunities possible.

“Transferring here after my freshman year was definitely a good choice, I have had a lot of fun here. I wanted to continue that and continue playing with this team, so I decided to come back for my fifth year, which I also think was a good decision for me. I believe my decision to continue to play in the offseason and over the summer has also really helped me grow and develop as a player as well. Personally, and as a team, we need to continue to keep working on the small things correctly both on and off the field. Whether that is in lifts putting in hard work, being good humans off the field, or getting our touches right and our passes right on the field. Making sure that we can do these things to the highest of our ability I think will help us achieve all the goals that we set for ourselves. I think the reason our team has been so successful in the past years and still upcoming is that we all have a lot of drive and motivation. We talk about our “whys” as a team a lot and we all each have our individual “whys” as to why we play and do what we do. We play for the people who can’t play and the people we have lost and really derive motivation out of those things.”

With the current record laying 17 wins, two losses, and one tie, we move on to our first NCAA tournament game of the season against UNC Pembroke on Thursday, November 16th at 6:00 PM at Frock Field. Whatever the outcome, Catawba College stands proudly for and with our Catawba women’s soccer team.