Penn State Soccer Fans’ Support Stretches Far Past The Bleachers
Penn State soccer games are known for having electric energy coming from both fans and players. Keeping up that energy had a huge impact on both the men’s and women’s winning streaks.
Although Penn State’s teams played an unconventional season, fans still showed their endless support for the Nittany Lions. Whether they’re students, families of players, or anyone in between, fans have been lining up along Park Avenue to cheer the teams on.
“I have a few friends on the team, and being able to support them is a big deal to me. During the spring, it’s also been really nice to sit outside on nice days to show our Penn State pride,” student Maggie Dulac said.
“I think it definitely has an impact on the players especially during the time of COVID-19. I think it was very disappointing to them that fans weren’t allowed for the season. So seeing fans show up and support outside the stadium, I’m sure it gave them more momentum and excitement,” Dulac continued.
Parents, siblings, friends, and fans have been attending multiple games throughout the season. Favorites from the 2021 spring season include the women’s game against Michigan, the men’s game against Wisconsin, and the men’s game against Ohio State, because who doesn’t like to see Penn State beat them?
Even furry and feathery friends attended matches alongside their humans. Lots of dogs chilled out on sunny days as people gathered to watch some soccer in the nice weather. Tracy Canniff even brought her blue parrot, Ellie, to the women’s Senior Day game against Maryland.
A resounding theme among fans watching from outside of the stadium was that they were there to bring back some of the energy that was no longer in the stands.
“I think [having fans] carries them,” said Lori Dimico, mother of freshman player Olivia Domico. “It lifts them up. It’s electric over there [on the field].”
Penn State is home to a passionate community that bleeds blue and white. The endless support and energy drives players and keeps their spirits high.
“It’s always fun to support your school. No matter what sporting event you attend at [Penn State], the school spirit is always alive,” Jenna White said.
Many fans have been trying to consistently attend matches. But even when their schedule doesn’t let them, they remain loyal to the team and cheer them on regardless.
“That last game the men’s had against Maryland was one of the greatest games I’ve ever seen for soccer,” said Conor Camazine, secretary of the Park Ave. Army student section. “It was incredible, wire to wire, and I’ll be honest, I was in my one class and I was watching it at the same time, so I couldn’t resist.”
The outpouring of support has not gone unrecognized by players and coaches. Having fans show up to cheer them on has driven them and upped the energy both on and off the pitch.
“Especially during the first few games of the season, we weren’t great but now that we’re starting to wrack up some wins, to see the support behind the program is awesome,” said Pierre Reedy, a redshirt senior midfielder.
Given the circumstances, the support for Penn State soccer has not come close to reaching a halt. There are still many fans who are cheering on the teams from behind the fence — separate but still together.
“What it’s done for all of us is we’ve continued to appreciate what we have here and when we are able to pack these stands again, I think it will be even that much more meaningful. We understand how much they drive us and how much their energy brings us energy on the field, and we can’t wait to get back to that environment,” women’s soccer coach Erica Dambach said.
Even on the days where bad weather deters fans from sitting outside in the grass, some devoted fans still stick around. The Park Ave. Army even made signs that are all around the sides of the stadium to show its support for Penn State soccer.
“I think it really motivates them because, considering the circumstances, there’s not a lot of people in these stands. But to have people around, I’m sure it means so much to them,” Camazine said. “Every so often I see a few of them looking over at us looking really excited. I’m just excited to go back in there when the time’s right.”
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