By Charles Jardine
Franciscan University’s ultimate club women’s team, Fire, is making a name for itself following its first competition in three years.
The Franciscan Fire team was founded nearly 10 years ago in 2015. The team chose the name Fire for three reasons. First, Fire founder Holly Koch was inspired by Hebrews 12:29, “For our God is a consuming fire.”
Second, in the words of senior and current co-captain Miranda Rose, “it (Fire) is intimidating and easy to put on our uniforms.”
The name was later expanded and developed to stand for Fearless, Intensity, Relentless and Excellence: the four pillars the team tries to live and compete by.
In the last three years, the team has faced many challenges, most resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic. The team’s 2020 season was cancelled, and Rose said team members were unable to “get a school to come and scrimmage against us.” After the 2020 season, the majority of the team graduated. This personnel problem was compounded by the team coach leaving in 2021, leaving remaining team members struggling to find the numbers needed to compete.
The team has fought to remain present and active on campus, however, by continuing to practice and compete in intramurals so that any students who interested in someday reviving the team could prepare.
Rose said that difficulties with supplying the necessary numbers for competition hasn’t been the only problem, adding, “The guys want to compete, and a lot of girls have that fear that they are not good enough.”
Rose said this fear can often keep female students from competing. She added that anyone who wants to have fun and enjoy the sport should give competition a chance.
Rose said the team did very well in its first tournament, which was on Feb. 18 and 19 at the Commonwealth Cup in Martinsville, Virginia.
“It was great to see the team out competing and showing everyone that Franciscan women’s ultimate can compete,” she said.
“In almost every game they lost, the team was down to universal point,” added Rose.
In plays for the universal point, the next point to be gained is the tiebreaker and wins the game.
Rose said she was very impressed with the team in their first outing and proud of all the students who were able to compete.
Rose added that the team members get along with each other and play very well together. She recounted a comment from a woman at the tournament who said the team members had great chemistry, even though many had never even gone to a tournament to compete before.
Though small, the team looks to the future with high hopes. With enough numbers to compete this year and continued recruiting efforst, the team hopes to grow and become what it once was before the pandemic.
Rose, along with the other captains of the team, continue to focus on growing the team and instilling a love of the game in its members so that once its current captains have graduated, Franciscan Fire will carry on with a zeal greater than before.
The captains of the team encourage any female students who are interested in the sport to come out for practices from 1-3 pm on Saturdays and at 4-5 pm Wednesdays at the Intramural fields. Anyone interested in simply having fun is encouraged to show up. Those who are interested in playing on the team can also contact one of the captains: Miranda Rose ([email protected]) or Margaret Schuster ([email protected]).