Fans are major part of program

Courtesy Portland Athletics

With an average attendance of around 3,500, the fans help make game day special at the University of Portland.

Hello, soccer people!

I have been given the amazing opportunity to be the designated blogger for the University of Portland Pilots women’s soccer team. In this first blog, I would like to take the time to introduce myself, my team and some vital things having to do with me and the team. So here I go!

My name is Erin Dees, and everyone except for a few select people in my life calls me Dees. I introduce myself to new people as Dees. People often forget I have a first name, and if you yell Erin across the quad to get my attention, I will not respond out of habit.

I am a senior goalkeeper from Downers Grove, Ill., who enjoys solving Rubik’s Cubes, playing with my pet hermit crab Henry, hanging out with people who make me laugh, tweeting and going on long walks. My greatest pet peeve is when people pronounce the “s” in the word Illinois. That’s pretty much the basics, and you will get to know me as this blog progresses.

Now, I shall introduce the team. Our roster has 23 people on it: eight seniors, three juniors, four sophomores and eight freshmen. To most schools, a 23-person roster is small, but to us it’s pretty big seeing as how last year’s was all of 18. We have embraced it and have been together since late June making memories and working our butts off to be ready for the 2013 season.

Amidst early morning runs and a grueling preseason, our team found the time to go on a trip where the most memorable part was an unexpected long river float, and a scavenger hunt through Portland that sent us to places we didn’t know existed.

We have started the year off well as we are 2-0-1 coming off a tie at Stanford on Saturday. This is not the last you will hear of my team’s season and my teammates and the weird ways we find to pass the time when we are not playing soccer.

With basic info about me and my team out there, I can’t forget to mention a major part of our program: our fans. Our fans range from little 6-year-old girls with pigtails to 18-year-old guys in kilts, to older fans that have been buying season tickets since before Merlo Field was built.

With an average attendance of around 3,500, these fans make game days what they are, and we appreciate them more than they know. Not to mention the fact that 12 members of the Villa Drum Squad -- the main student cheering section -- made the 20-hour round-trip drive to Stanford to cheer us on. Some of my best friends are in the Villa Drum Squad, and it is an honor in more ways than one to be able to call them our fans and friends.

And that is Blog No. 1 in the books! If you can’t wait until next time to find out what I’m doing, feel free to follow me on twitter (@ErinDees).