The high energy of game days isn’t limited to football at Boise State University. On Saturday, Sept. 21, the fans at Lincoln Turf Field couldn’t contain their excitement cheering on the Bronco men’s soccer club in their face-off against the University of Utah.
Despite limited space and a smaller crowd, the spirit of the fans and the overall atmosphere of the game mimicked nights spent under the lights of the Albertsons Stadium. As the Broncos established a 2-0 lead early in the first half, the bleachers erupted with passion, praise and literal drum rolls.
This support, however, was arguably different than that of Boise State football fans. At this event, the crowd was almost exclusively full of family and friends of the athletes, making the cheers more personal and specific.
Peyton Carlson, an active supporter of the Boise State men’s soccer club, attended the game on Saturday.
“Even though I’m not a huge soccer fan, since one of my best friends is on the team, it’s nice to see him play and see him do something he’s passionate about,” Carlson said.
Carlson had a lot to cheer for as her aforementioned best friend is junior midfielder Jake Cooper, who was responsible for the two-goal lead in the first half.
Cooper said the support from Carlson and other friends in the stand motivated him to “perform for them and pull out a win.”
The minimal distance between the field and its seating made the interactions between players and spectators relatively intimate; this close proximity allowed for fans to hear every command sophomore goalkeeper Trenton Macktinger gave his defense. Although Macktinger expressed this sentiment as rather “creepy,” he made a name for himself as a key leader on the field.
Not only can the stands hear the happenings on the field, but the athletes also hear the feedback from fans.
“The bleachers are definitely a lot smaller than the football field, so it gives a better chance for people to yell and be heard by the people on the field,” Macktinger said.
Although the support for the Broncos was prominent, the negativity towards the players on the opposing team became the theme of the student section. So much so, in fact, that Boise State Campus Security was called to tame the fans.
The Broncos won with a final score of 2-1. Afterward, the field was flooded with an array of supporters, trash-talkers, winners and losers. Cooper described the importance of this post-game interaction and how it cultivates an environment in which athletes want to succeed.
“Seeing my friends motivates me to come back next week and do this again,” Cooper said.
The Boise State men’s soccer club will return to the Lincoln Turf next Saturday, Sept. 28 at 2:00 p.m. against BYU. If next Saturday’s game is anything like the last, a passionate crowd of supporters can be expected to show up alongside the Broncos.