Dear Portland State athletic program,
The Portland State Vikings women’s soccer team has been nothing short of spectacular this season. Through their first four Big Sky games head coach Laura Schott and her team have yet to lose, outscoring their opponents 7-1.
Unfortunately for myself and the majority of our other Viking fans, we have not had the chance to see these women perform. When it says “home” on the PSU schedule, that really means the Vikings are playing out in Hillsboro, at Hillsboro Stadium.
Like a lot of other college students, I do not have access to a car. And even if I did, Hillsboro Stadium is far enough away to make me question if I would make the drive out there. It shouldn’t be this hard to watch arguably the most successful athletic team at Portland State.
And these women have been very successful. Last year they were co-champions of the Big Sky conference. They have never finished worse than second in the conference under Schott, who has only lost seven games in Big Sky conference play. On top of that, the Vikings have been to seven straight Big Sky championships.
Success is clearly not the problem with the women’s soccer program; the problem is that I have only been to one game, and this is my third year as a Viking. I know that PSU is not the ideal place for a soccer stadium with its city location, but it seems like some of the other sport teams do not have this kind of problem like the soccer team does. Men’s basketball plays at the Stott Center. Football plays at Jeld-Wen Field. Track and Field however, fall under the same fate. They have to practice at Lincoln High School, and when the Big Sky championships were “held in Portland,” they were really at Forest Grove.
Is there a solution to this problem? Maybe not. It would be great if there could be a stadium where the Vikings could play home soccer games, but I know that is not very realistic. What if the women could play at Jeld-Wen? There are probably a lot of reasons why that would not be possible, and 90 percent of them are most likely money related. Is a shuttle to games more realistic? It would be a solid opportunity for students and anyone interested in Vikings athletics to get out to events.
The women’s soccer schedule says they are playing at home, but it seems like their home games are actually played on a neutral field all the way out in Hillsboro. Do these Vikings consider Hillsboro their home, even though they play for Portland? Regardless of their homelessness, these women have been successful over the last seven years with or without a true stadium. That deserves some serious respect.
Unfortunately, this last weekend were the Vikings last two “home” soccer games. Portland State took on Northern Arizona and Southern Utah at Hillsboro Stadium. The Vikings now have only three games remaining in their schedule before the Big Sky Conference tournament. If the Vikings do host a game in the tournament, will they truly have a home field advantage at Hillsboro Stadium? Does this problem have a solution, PSU?