BYU women’s soccer fans have shown their loyalty this season, and it hasn’t gone unrecognized. Soccer America recently acknowledged BYU women’s soccer for having drawn some of the largest crowds this year.
BYU saw its highest attendance this season when 4,633 fans came out to cheer for the Cougars as they faced Miami. That game’s attendance ranks BYU third on Soccer America’s 2011 Top Women’s Crowds.
Being among some of the best fans in the country wasn’t a surprise for loyal fan Madeline Bodine, a senior from Los Altos, Calif., majoring in French studies.
“We are awesome about not only getting people to the games, but also being a part of the games and caring about whether our school is winning,” Bodine said. “I think we do a fantastic job of supporting as fans.”
[easyembed field=”Photogallery”]Bodine wasn’t just stating her opinion. Fans have been extremely supportive of BYU women’s soccer and they have the numbers to prove it.
Unlike other women’s soccer teams in the West Coast Conference that struggle getting more than 500 people to their matches, BYU plays in front of thousands of fans during each home game. In fact, attendance at BYU games didn’t drop below 1,900 the entire season.
Garrett Wahlquist, a junior studying public health, said he started following women’s soccer at the beginning of last year and is glad South Field finally adjusted to meet the needs of these large attendance numbers.
“They added a lot more bleachers to the east side of the field, which was definitely needed,” Wahlquist said. “Most of the time people were standing on the sides because there wasn’t a seat available in the stadium.”
Kyle Dawson, a junior majoring in exercise science, attributes the high volume of fans to the intensity and enthusiasm felt at the games.
“There is always an electric energy in the stands,” Dawson said. “It gets to the point where you hate to sit down at the game.”
Wahlquist agreed fans keep coming back because of the excitement at games.
“Going to games is always a wave of emotion,” Wahlquist said. “One moment you’re cheering and really excited, and the next moment is intense and nerve racking.”
Bodine, Wahlquist and Dawson all consider themselves loyal BYU women’s soccer fans and have attended the majority of the Cougars’ games. However, Bodine believes it takes more than simply attending games to be a loyal fan.
“A loyal fan goes to all the games, rain or shine, even if it means sporting a garbage bag because you don’t have a raincoat — which I have definitely done,” Bodine said. “You have to be willing to sit through the games when no one scores but also get excited when things happen.”
BYU women’s soccer coach Jennifer Rockwood said she is grateful for the loyal fans who have consistently come to cheer on the team.
“Our girls have fed off our fans’ energy and excitement,” Rockwood said. “They [the fans] are the 12th man on the field with our team. We have been so fortunate to have such great support from the student body and from the community, and we really hope we can get a great turnout for this last home game.”
BYU women’s soccer plays its last home game against University of San Diego this Saturday at 1 p.m. on South Field.