ROCHESTER, Minnesota - For the first time since March, Minnesota high schools were back out on the field practicing for the upcoming season. This fall will be unlike anything we've ever seen before, but for players, they're just happy to be back oeut on the field."
"I honestly didn't think we were going to get to play," Lourdes senior Maggie Thom said.
On the pitch, the action looks the same, but when you step off, things look different.
"We've got this big jug of hand sanitizer that we take with us wherever we go, the girls have signed the bottle," Eagles Head Coach Sarah Groven said. "We're doing things to make this fun yet follow the rules at the same time, they've got their back packs all lined up, we're keeping our water bottles tucked in."
Groven isn't used to coaching with a mask on, but when the soccer season was green lit for the fall season, she couldn't help but think about the seniors that have carved their path on this field.
"I was more relieved than anything because I've got a group of girls here that want a senior season," she said. "To be able to have that opportunity, I was thrilled for them."
It's a season that not many expected, but senior Maggie Throm has been waiting for this moment since last spring.
"I played spring soccer and we didn't get to play so getting back on the field was awesome," Thom said. "The other three seniors, we've been looking forward to this since our last game last year."
The Eagles are the three-time defending Section 1A champions. Even with the pandemic ongoing, the goal is still the same.
"The goal is to always get to state," Thom said. "Hopefully we can get there."