While the Golden Gopher women’s soccer club typically receives new teams soccer uniforms every two seasons, equipment manager John Blackshear had to temporarily put it off until a new head coach was instated.
Once Stephanie Golan was assigned the position, Blackshear immediately began coordinating with staff members, including those associated with junior soccerteams, to come up with new kits for 2012.
Since the delay was unpleasantly unsettling for the team, Golan and the crew decided to surprise their players during a practice last September 13. During a meeting, the players were suddenly introduced to their new kits as undergraduate assistant coach Katie Bethke and redshirt junior Steph Brandt removed their sweat suits to show-off the new threads.
The Gophers were immediately pleased with the flashy new design – the jersey featured wide maroon plus golden stripes, which was well complemented by aV-neck collar. Each player’s number is written on the left chest area, and at the back with “Minnesota” printed above it. As for the shorts and socks, both of these sport solid colors.
While these tops bare a few similarities to a few junior soccerteams across the US, there are still enough unique features for the teams soccer uniformsto be considered unique.
“For us as a staff, we were designing a lot of different things and came up with about six or seven different looks,” said Golan when asked about the design process. “We just thought that these jerseys looked sharp and gave us a little flare and uniqueness.”
Choosing amongst seven designs was undoubtedly a difficult task to carry out. To make the deciding process run smoother, Blackshear and Golan enlisted the help of fellow team management staff members Krystle Seidel, Deana Waintraub and Kevin Criter.
Making sure that the designs were good, and didn’t resemble apparel worn by other junior soccer teams was relatively easy. One of the biggest challenges faced by staff wastrying to keep it a secret from their players.
“It was really hard because I was so excited, but I couldn’t let anyone know,” said Golan. “Everyone kept asking me why we didn’t have new teams soccer uniforms this season, and I just had to make excuses for why we hadn’t gotten them. I am just relieved to have this off my plate now, and these jerseys are a big gift for everyone heading into the Big Ten season.”