Winona State continues to lack men’s soccer team

Sophomore+Kendyl+Keay+weaves+in+between+players+at+Sunday%27s+game+against+Southwest+Minnesota+State+University+where+the+Warriors+won+3-1.

Nikko Aries

Sophomore Kendyl Keay weaves in between players at Sunday's game against Southwest Minnesota State University where the Warriors won 3-1.

Sydney Mohr, Sports Reporter

Prospective student athletes and parents tend to ask about sports and their availability when touring Winona State University, since it can be a major factor in whether or not they come to Winona State. Since their programs and majors tend to be more predominantly female, Winona State has had a higher population of females and males for many generations.

Currently, Winona State sits at about 63 percent female students to 37 percent male students, contributing to Winona State having a women’s soccer team, but not a men’s.

Head Athletic Director Eric Schoh has some thoughts on this topic.

“It is all based on the balance of students in the school,” Schoh said. “You need to first go with the interest and the ability of the underrepresented gender, which would be women since there is 63 percent in the population but only a 59 percent interest or availability.”

He also reported that all the sports teams are by preference of student body and availability of students.

The Winona State women’s soccer team started out as a club team, but was slowly elevated to varsity status by Title IX guidelines in 1995. Even though Winona State does not offer an official varsity team for male soccer, they do provide many options for students to participate in sports through the intramural program.

Schoh also stated that one of the main reasons there are so many female teams compared to male, is that the rosters are smaller for the female teams.

“You have the football team, which is a roster of over 100 men. That alone can cause an imbalance to the number of female and male athletes we have on campus, so to balance it out we have a few more smaller rostered teams for females,” Schoh said.

Junior midfielder Abby Bohanski considered whether Winona State should have a men’s soccer team.

“Having a men’s soccer team here at Winona State would definitely be exciting,” Bohanski said. “It would bring a new atmosphere to our school and I think they would get a lot of support, but with the NCAA guidelines if you add one male sport you have to add another female sport to balance this out.”

Bohanski also discussed how the different athletes got along on campus.

“Men’s and women’s athletics get along very well.  Every team supports one another and I think most athletes know one another,” she said. “The first friends you meet on campus are your teammates and other athletes so we are all a close-knit group.  It’s fun to see athletes around campus because they are all very friendly and we always say hi to each other.”

Despite the differences between the two genders and the amount of teams they have, Bohanski agreed that student athletes work together to support each other on and off the field and work together.

Bohanski added that the women’s soccer team has been doing well this year. Over the weekend, the team took Southwest Minnesota State University 3-1. The weekend before, the team won games against University of Minnesota Duluth and St. Cloud State University.

“We found the back of the net and we connected the pace of both games,” Bohanski said about the games against Duluth and St. Cloud. “As a team, we are looking to continue our winning streak into this coming weekend and are excited for what the remainder of the season has to hold.”

In the upcoming week, Winona State soccer will play the University of Mary on Saturday, Oct. 14 at 1 p.m., and on Sunday, Oct. 15 at 1 p.m. they will play Minot State University, both at home.