Despite delayed return, Chico State women’s soccer excited to take the field

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Jason Halley – University Photographer/CSU Chico Chico State Wildcats head coach Kim Sutton (center) encourages the team against Dominican Penguins during the second half of their women’s soccer game on Thursday, September 12, 2019 in Chico, Calif.

After a year and a half absence, the Chico State women’s soccer team was in good spirits as they were set to take on California State East Bay in a scrimmage on Saturday, Aug. 28. Their plans were cut short, however, as poor air quality forced the team to delay the start of their season. 

Coach Kim Sutton has made an effort to remind the players of staying concentrated on themselves and the task at hand. 

“We focus on the controllables, always, the smoke is out of our hands,” Sutton said. “We adapt and adjust and move forward.” 

The NCAA dictates that an air quality index of 150 or higher is unsafe for athletes to compete. 

Fires across Northern California causing poor air quality in the Chico area has made it tough on athletes at Chico State this fall. While the scrimmage has been canceled, the women’s team had to adjust to poor air quality all summer in order to prepare for the upcoming season. 

For senior captain Sarah Emigh, keeping the team engaged during times like these consists of maintaining a positive attitude and focusing on what lies ahead of them. 

Photo courtesy of Chico State Athletics
Chico State’s Sarah Emigh dribbles past the opposing keeper

“On smoky days we utilize the indoor, or if we only get one hour of practice we take full advantage of that time together,” Emigh said. 

 Senior captain Kylie Martinez expects the team to be firing on all cylinders as the season gets underway. Martinez said training as a team has allowed  rust to wear off over the last month. The goal set amongst the program is nothing short of winning a championship. 

Photo courtesy of Chico State Athletics
Chico State Captain Kylie Martinez takes a shot on goal

It’s “banner season” as both Martinez and Emigh described it. “We all want a banner year bad and we have what it takes,” Martinez said. “Every team is good so we just need to keep working for each other until we get to where we want to be.” 

The women’s first preseason game will take place on the road against Azusa Pacific University on Saturday, Sept. 4 at 7 p.m.

Mason Tovani can be reached at [email protected] or @masonmtovani on Twitter