Tulane Soccer Squad Finds a New Home Field

Though their school is closed, Tulane University's athletic teams remain intact. Scott Simon talks with head women's soccer coach Betsy Anderson, whose team now calls Texas A&M home, while competing in their Tulane uniforms.

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SCOTT SIMON, host:

Tulane University students may not be able to attend classes on their campus in New Orleans this fall, but the Green Wave, as they call their sports teams, will roll on. Tulane's teams have been relocated to other college campuses in Texas and Louisiana where they will attend classes but compete as Tulane teams. Betsy Anderson, the coach of Tulane's women's soccer team, joins us from member station KAMU in College Station, Texas, from Texas A&M University.

Coach Anderson, thanks very much for being with us.

Ms. BETSY ANDERSON (Tulane University Women's Soccer Coach): Oh, thank you so much for having me.

SIMON: How's everyone holding up?

Ms. ANDERSON: It gets better each day now that the players are getting back into a routine and they know where their classes are and we're on a training schedule. And the hardest part was just really the unknowns, the unknowns of what we'd be doing the next hour let alone the next day.

SIMON: How are you guys playing?

Ms. ANDERSON: We obviously had some setbacks as far as from the emotional strain on our players, and we're getting back into it slowly but surely. We began resuming our training schedule on Wednesday, so I know that's a time that the players--it's the best part of their day where they're out doing something that they love. And we'll get back.

SIMON: You know, so many people in Louisiana and Mississippi have talked about just the terrible separation from friends and family of people who usually surround them in their everyday lives. Has it been an advantage for your team to be able to turn to each other, to have the support from each other during this time?

Ms. ANDERSON: I've never seen a group of young people, as our players have done, be such a support system for each other and be so selfless throughout the duration of the situation that we're in.

SIMON: When's your first game?

Ms. ANDERSON: Good question. We're currently in the process of scheduling some local games. The good news is we know our Conference USA schedule will be intact because our conference can mandate that our incoming teams that were gonna play us in New Orleans will come to our new home field here at Texas A&M. We will playing all of our home games at Texas A&M.

SIMON: And who are you playing your first game, do you know?

Ms. ANDERSON: That is still unknown.

SIMON: Yeah.

Ms. ANDERSON: TBA, I tell the players to pass it on, to be announced.

SIMON: You guys get ready to play TBA now.

Ms. ANDERSON: Yeah.

SIMON: They're good.

Ms. ANDERSON: We're gearing up for it, just got a report.

SIMON: I must say I don't follow women's college soccer much, but there's a part of me that just thinks you're gonna get an awfully loyal and enthusiastic turnout there.

Ms. ANDERSON: I can't say enough about the way everyone in this town, at the university and the entire community has really given the players a sense they want us to be here. It's now our home, and they're gonna support us as if we are theirs. We really think we'll probably have a couple thousand people at our first game. So that will be exciting.

SIMON: Well, Coach Anderson, thanks very much.

Ms. ANDERSON: Thank you.

SIMON: Betsy Anderson, Tulane University's women's soccer coach speaking to us from College Station, Texas.

Twenty-two minutes before the hour.

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