Guest Author - Nicole Day, Phoenix College Alumna & PC Alumni & Development Council member
The Phoenix College women’s soccer and softball teams received their championship rings in a ring ceremony at the “We Are the Champions” Homecoming game.
Both the softball and soccer teams had a unique year due to the COVID-19 pandemic; however, that did not stop the teams from going out and being the best they could be.
“They are special and so goal oriented. They had one thing on their minds and that was to win a national championship,” said Coach Heinz Mueller, the head coach of the Phoenix College women’s softball team.
The woman’s soccer team also had its fair share of obstacles. In the beginning the team had practices over ZOOM and when they were finally able to return to the field the players performed conditioning exercises as the six-feet apart rule did not allow contact. “On the field the girls were in 10 by 10 grids, masks on, couldn’t touch and couldn’t hug,” said Coach Chris Sagar, the head coach for the Phoenix College women’s soccer team. “We were just excited for the chance to play.”
As for the softball team, they experience an undefeated season before the COVID-19 pandemic cut their previous season short. Although that filled the team with disappointment, it gave Mueller a chance to coach most of the team again which made his job easier. “Because of COVID, we ended up getting almost the entire team back from the year before, so they already knew the system,” said Mueller.
The players have a lot of love for each other on and off the field. In the championship, the women’s soccer team were close to being knocked out of the running and they returned to what got them there. “We talk about family, but this group was the tightest family in the years I’ve been here, with the support and love they have for one another,” said Sagar.
Despite the COVID-19 challenges, the efforts of women on both teams were admirable. They not only performed as athletes but as academic students. Being able to play on the field and bring home championships to Phoenix College was rewarding for both teams, especially the softball team who brought a championship home for the first time in ten years.
“We are appreciative of Maricopa Community Colleges and our chancellor for giving us the opportunity to play,” said Sagar. “A lot of good people did not play around the country. I’m so appreciative that these student athletes got to play and had a chance to win the national championship.”