Savannah Spirit SC prepares for opening game Thursday

Sports

SAVANNAH, Ga. (WSAV) – If you want to catch the Savannah Spirit in action, Thursday’s doubleheader will be one of just three times all year you can do it without leaving town.

Savannah’s women’s soccer team will lift the lid on its 2021 season with a 4 p.m. intrasquad scrimmage for their Under-21 team and a 6:30 p.m. kickoff against Charleston Fleet for the WPSL squad. Both games will be at Fr. Albert Bickerstaff Field on the campus of Benedictine Military School.

Ticket sales from the game will benefit Camp Sunshine, which provides programs and activities for kids with cancer.

Savannah Spirit SC played its first season in 2020, with the WPSL team going 2-2 overall. This year’s team plans to play twice as many regular season games, with additional home dates on June 30 and July 10.

Savannah Spirit SC’s official schedule, per the team website. The June 3 U21 matchup against SC United has been changed to an intrasquad scrimmage.

A large portion of the Spirit’s roster comes from current collegiate players across the Southeast. Although many of them have played on the Spirit before, some, like University of Memphis player Allie Rathbun, will see their first live game action in 2021.

“I’m really looking forward to the first game, to seeing all the fans that will come out,” Rathbun said. “Savannah’s never had a soccer team like this before so I’m looking forward to seeing how that brings the community together.”

Even if the players aren’t always coming from the Savannah area, many of them are already getting to know the community through their host families, who provide housing for the summer.

Beatrice Currie, a rising senior at Mississippi College, is from Canada and could not play at home this summer due to COVID-related border restrictions.

Staying away from her home has taken some getting used to.

“[My host family] reached out and gave me the opportunity so staying in the house was definitely different than coming down for a visit or something like that,” Currie said. “It’s a little awkward on my part just being new to the area and just trying to navigate that along with the soccer and everything else. Overall, though, it’s great.”

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