Girls Invade the Soccer Field with the Black Turtles
Girls join the AUBG Soccer League this semester with the recently formed team Black Turtles where gender does not play a role and friendship is the most important ingredient.
This season the Sports Hall welcomes four girls on its field. They play in the Black Turtles, which was initially supposed to gather Erasmus students regardless of their gender. The captain, Michael Bleicher, a fourth-year exchange student from the University of Augsburg in Germany, said:
“It was actually not a big decision to make but clear from the beginning. We don’t see any reason to exclude girls from playing.“
Some of the girls did not have much experience before joining the team like Megan Harger, a second-year exchange student from Chapman University in Orange, who said that she has not played since she was nine years old, but thought it was a fun sport to play.
“When some of my exchange student friends made a team and asked if I wanted to join, I decided that it would be a fun opportunity to make new friends and get some exercise,” Harger said.
Others like Karina Barambayeva, SG Vice President and second-year student, have more experience. Barambayeva was part of a mixed team in her neighborhood and then, during her high school exchange in the States, she played for the school’s women’s team. After her return from the USA, though, she did not have a chance to play until she joined the Black Turtles this semester.
The team plays mostly for entertainment. “I enjoy playing the game; it’s a good way to take a break from routine and release negative emotional energy,” Barambayeva said. Jeanette Butler, an exchange senior from California State University, East Bay, said that she actually decided to join because she liked the idea of playing in a team with all of her friends.
When asked about how boys act when they play against them, the girls can’t agree on a single answer. Harger said that she has not noticed anything different in their actions. “I certainly don’t treat them any differently and I’m not afraid to get aggressive if I need to,” she said. Barambayeva, on the other hand, said that most of the guys become more cautious, some do not change the way they play, while others take it as a joke.
Philip Mishev, a first-year student from the soccer team the Reckless, said that having girls on the field is fun because it changes the game, but everyone has to be a little bit more careful.
“The quality of soccer that is played in the games of Turtles is a lot lower than in the other games,” he said, “However, I think that it`s not bad for the soccer league to be diversified this way.”
“Black Turtles will only exist for this semester as almost the whole team consists of exchange students who won’t be here next semester anymore,” said Bleicher.
Some members of the Black Turtles team are very excited about the Olympics games at the end of the semester and have decided to join them.