Fullerton College Sophomore Morgan Dack eagerly awaited the start of her soccer season last year as her success in 2019 made her hopeful for a spot as 2020 team captain.
With the 2020-2021 season scheduled to occur in the midst of a pandemic, her 14-year soccer career was seemingly coming to a close.
“Coach Pamela gave us hope, but cases kept rising and there was not much we could do,” Dack said.
During pre-season, the team was in good spirits that cases would go down and they would be back on the field in no time. But as weeks went on with isolated Zoom meetings, they knew it was a slim chance that they would return.
Although COVID-19 cases were on the rise, that didn’t stop the Hornets from staying on top of their game.
A simple change in location and Zoom calls were the answer.
A normal season for the Hornets would consist of a summer pre-season that would be composed of practices Monday to Friday from 1:20 p.m. to 3:30 p.m., sometimes extending to 5 p.m., depending on additional conditioning. The fall season itself would consist of Tuesday and Thursday games with some rest days for the players.
The Hornets kept their same Monday to Friday two hour practice schedule during the 2020 season and did all of their practices through Zoom. Monday to Thursday were strictly for workouts, which included weight and agility training, core and leg workouts and traditional warmups to help maintain the player’s footwork, while Fridays were left for yoga.
“Practice was mentally harder because you weren’t going to a field and seeing your friends, my favorite part was joking around and bonding with the coaches and team. Without that, it was harder to brush off mistakes,” Dack said.
Although the Hornets collectively stayed fit in preparation for hopes of a 2021 season, what would happen to those planning to transfer?
Dack said she became worrisome that her season with Fullerton College would be the last chapter of her soccer career, especially because the recruitment process was up in the air.
One person that reassured the determined player was former team captain and Fullerton College Alumna Kaelah Basurto who has since been signed to play at California State University, Los Angeles during the pandemic.
Although Basurto hasn’t been able to play games for CSULA yet, she reassured the hopeful sophomore that most colleges are taking film portfolios, especially out of state campuses.
Many players are fortunate enough to have archived video from previous seasons to build up a profile for these scouts, but Dack said that many players, like herself, rely on scouts coming to games to see them in action and is eager for the possibility of showcases.
“It would be great to have showcases because a coach could see my full performance and not just small clips. A video can’t show [a coach] all the parts of a game that make a player who they are; like working back after losing a ball or the hustle you put in defense to get to offense. You wouldn’t think to put these moments in a video, but it is so important for the game,” Dack said.
With showcases providing COVID-19 precautions, this gives hope to many looking to transfer and continue their athletic career.
As for the Hornets, they remain hopeful as they continue to stay distant and follow COVID-19 protocols and anticipate that vaccines roll out soon enough to return for their 2021 season.