Once a part of the family, always a part of the family.
The current No. 8 Penn State women’s soccer roster has players representing 12 different states other than Pennsylvania and two neighboring countries in Costa Rica and Canada.
Last night the team traveled to Ohio State to play in their third and final televised game for the season, and Penn State fans were tuning in from all around North America.
For redshirt junior forward Tani Costa, being from Honolulu, Hawaii, has posed as a challenge for her family to watch her play live, but she says when they do get the chance, it is always an event as it was last night against Ohio State.
“Whenever we play on the Big Ten Network, my parents always invite everyone over from my grandparents to aunties and cousins,” Costa said. “Sometimes they make a party out of it since they don’t get to see me play live very often.”
Coach Erica Walsh was particularly excited for freshman Raquel Rodriguez’s grandmother to be able to watch her granddaughter play from overseas from Costa Rica and notes that having their games aired live keeps the Penn State family close.
A graduate of the Penn State class of 2012, former midfielder for the Lions, Ali Schaefer, watched the game last night from her parent’s house in Las Vegas, Nev.
Joining Schaefer last night was eight-year Penn State assistant women’s soccer coach Michael Coll. Coll left the team after last season to take the head women’s soccer coaching position at University of Nevada-Las Vegas, but said he still actively follows the team.
“I absolutely keep up with the team, and I check the Facebook page daily,” Coll said. “We send encouraging texts to each other when there is a big win between the teams.”
Schaefer made the four-hour trip from Las Vegas to BYU on Sept. 8 with her mom and sister to watch the Lions play the Cougars and said she would not miss the chance to watch the team play live again.
“I love being able to watch the girls play. I still feel very much a part of the team and the family,” Schaefer said. “They look great this year, and I definitely think they have a chance to win a national championship.”
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