SHORELINE, Wash. — Editor’s note: The video above was published before it was announced the women’s soccer team is safe.
1/29 UPDATE: The women’s soccer team at Shoreline Community College is safe, according to school’s student paper The Ebbtide.
The future of the men’s soccer team is still in jeopardy as the school continues to look for ways to balance its budget.
The school says a decline in enrollment in recent years has resulted in a $2.3 million shortfall.
The school announced a first round of layoffs Wednesday. Click here for more information on the proposed budget cuts.
Dozens of college soccer players, many of them on scholarship, may soon find themselves without a team or a school.
A statement released to KIRO 7 by a Shoreline College spokesperson Thursday revealed that “As part of Shoreline Community College’s holistic budget review process, we have identified the Men’s and Women’s Soccer Teams for potential withdrawal from the Northwest Athletic Conference (NWAC) in fall 2020. While a determination about the status of these teams is not yet final, we are considering reducing the number of competitive sports offered from seven to five, as the College faces enrollment and revenue declines.”
The reaction on campus was immediate.
Senior Izabella Murray, who attends Shoreline on a soccer scholarship, said she’d be devastated if the program was cut, because it helped her succeed in class. “It requires a minimum grade point average to get that scholarship, so I’m always striving to be the best”
Xeindria Chandran’s soccer scholarship provided an immediate community when she first set foot on campus as a freshman. “I always had these girls to connect with,” the senior told KIRO 7, smoothing her transition.
Shoreline College Men’s Assistant Soccer Coach Christian Holmquist told KIRO 7 that cutting the program would end opportunities for students who would never consider going to college if not for the desire to play soccer.
“The reason for them to go to school is soccer,” he said. “Then once they get in, you can actually start working on their academics.”
Abby Davis, a freshman from Salt Lake City, Utah, said she wouldn’t have chosen Shoreline without soccer, or the scholarship it provided. Now, she and fellow freshman Marci Post of Wyoming may have to transfer schools.
“I’m really lost right now,” Post said. “My whole plan was to be here for two years, playing soccer.”
Sophomore Matt Lewis admits he, too, may transfer to another school. “I’m looking to transfer, but at the same time, it’s hard to transfer to another school if this program fell apart,” he said.
The teams’ futures are expected to be discussed at a college board meeting at 4 p.m. Wednesday. According to a college spokesperson, “A final decision will be made at the board of trustees meeting in February to comply with NWAC’s deadline.”
Meanwhile, team members and leaders are hoping their public pleas will help keep soccer at Shoreline.
“Everyone’s really passionate about this sport,” women’s coach Shaun Warner said. “I think it would be really devastating, specifically to Seattle. There are so many players coming out of this area who get a college education through the vehicle of soccer.”
Read the full letter sent to student athletes below:
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