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Women’s club soccer is CSU’s best-kept secret

Annabelle+Stephan+smiles+as+she+plays+in+a+scrimmage+during+womens+club+soccer+practice+April+11.
Collegian | Avery Coates
Annabelle Stephan smiles while playing in a scrimmage during women’s club soccer practice April 11.

The Colorado State women’s club soccer team is constantly on the Intramural Fields running drills and kicking balls.

The team travels all across the state during the fall season, and their national qualifying performances make them one of the more competitive club teams in the U.S.

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More recently, Nov. 16-18, 2023, the team made it to the quarterfinals at the National Soccer Championships down in Round Rock, Texas. Their run was ended by Cal Poly before the semifinal round.

Now, with a fiery motivation and a taste of victory, the team is striving for a win in next year’s national championship. The team is filled with highly motivated athletes who have a background in the sport from past high school experience to help them get to that next step.

Two of those athletes are Sydney Inman, a junior at CSU who plays defense, and Alyssa Serrano, a fellow junior who plays middle forward. Both girls hold officer positions on the team, helping lead and coordinate most team functions.

One of their responsibilities was facilitating the hiring of their current coach, Randy Chase, and assistant coach, Mark Aksel, back in August.

Aksel said he really enjoys helping coach the team.

“It’s a really fun team,” Aksel said. “Everyone’s really fun to work with, and it’s a good group of players that make my job more enjoyable.”

Not only is the coaching experience enjoyable, but the team has a lot of fun with each other as well.

“You meet so many friends, it’s competitive and you get to travel to different places,” Inman said.

Club soccer is a great opportunity to meet new people who share similar interests as well as fill that competitive edge that otherwise would have gone ignored.

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Serrano committed to Colorado State without knowledge of there being a club team. After discovering the tryouts, she decided to attend knowing her high school season got cut short because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“At first, walking in, I was like, I’m not going to make it, but I’ll try,” Serrano said.

Serrano did, in fact, make it, and she has been playing for the team for three years. Within those three years, she said she has had the most positive experience and has rekindled her love for the sport. 

“The competitiveness and passion of everyone wanting to win — that’s what I love about it,” Serrano said. “Also, being able to play again because if you don’t go Division I, then you’re kind of just done. This is a group of people who are skilled at soccer and are good.”

Currently, the team is enduring the spring and summer training that will hopefully lead to a successful fall season.

“This is probably the last year I’ll get to play competitively, so I want to embrace every moment of it,” Aksel said.“The seniors and previous alumni have done such a good job of leaving a good legacy and have set such high standards for the team, and I hope, as seniors, we can leave that legacy for other people.”

The team consistently updates their Instagram, and more information on donations and events can be found on their website.

Reach Kensey May at sports@collegian.com or on Twitter @MayKensey.

Interested in more sports content? Sign up for Ram Report here for weekly CSU sports updates!

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