While traditions vary across the world for athletics, soccer is well-known for its unique traditions. From the appearance of a vuvuzela at games to players wearing their socks inside out during matches, players and fans of soccer partake in many forms of customs, and college soccer is not immune.
While many college teams have their own habits, these four teams remain ranked within the top-five of the NSCAA Coaches Poll, and each has its own tradition for players and fans to take part in:
Maryland Men’s Soccer
In 2003 according to Assistant Athletic Director Jodi Fick, a group of students came together to form “The Crew,” which leads chants and such at UMD soccer games. Since then, “The Crew” unveils a giant tifo head of Terrapin head coach Sasho Cirovski during the starting lineup.
Nothing like having them back! pic.twitter.com/HApMle8neP— Maryland Terrapins (@umterps) August 29, 2016
Also, Fick reported while it has become more of a campus tradition, on the first Friday of each season, students, especially freshmen, flock to the stadium to see the soccer team play. After the match, players, no matter the outcome of the game, circle the venue and slap hands with the fans.
Clemson Men’s SoccerWhile this isn’t a tradition that men’s soccer does exclusively, it remains one of the more time-honored habits of the list.
After the conclusion of the game, players and coaches line up on the field and join fans in singing Clemson’s Alma Mater, according to Assistant Sports Information Director Libby Kehn.
Kehn reported the tradition began during Clemson’s early military days when the freshmen wore rat caps and waved them in the air during the game. Now, in the last line of the song, those participating will hold their hands as if holding a cap and wave their hand around during the last line of the song.
Florida State Women’s Soccer
The Seminoles, on the other hand, have a number of interesting customs. According to Assistant Sports Information Director Scott Moriak, the women have five different traditions that they take part in.
First, each day before practice, the players pucker up to each kiss a large Seminole head that stands along their path from the locker room to the field. On game days, an impromptu dance party breaks out with the playing of the Warchant, the players pray together around the diamond display on the walkway outside of their locker room and certain players have handshakes with each other to do before hitting the field. Also, whenever the women are on the road, they partake in an extremely competitive round of horseshoes either during morning training or after the game.
Road Trip! Next stop ... Boston College.pic.twitter.com/IdG6t6HhXs— FSU Soccer (@FSU_Soccer) October 5, 2016
However, the origin of these traditions remains unknown to the current players.
“We’ve just been doing them ever since I got here,” said redshirt senior and captain Kirsten Crowley.
West Virginia Women’s Soccer
After every win in Dick Dlesk Soccer Stadium, John Denver’s “Country Roads” plays as the team runs along the bottom of the grandstand to slap hands with fans, according to Associate Director of Athletic Communications Shannon McNamara.
“Country Roads” holds a special place in West Virginia fans’ hearts, for the song’s lyrics describe coming home to the state. It began playing at athletic events as early as 1972 and continues on today.
However, McNamara said the post-win playing of the song for the soccer team began in 2007/2008, and while the song is played at many different sporting events, not every team interacts with the fans like soccer.