For quite some time, Spartan fans have been used to seeing cardboard cutouts in the stands while watching their team on their televisions. However, for the first time in a long time, fans can now join together in the stands of DeMartin Stadium to cheer on Michigan State soccer.
While families and friends could attend last season, the atmosphere was still not the same without the Red Cedar Rowdies and the rest of the student body. With everyone back, green and white filled the stands at Demartin Stadium with well over a thousand fans in attendance. Things finally seemed normal Monday night.
As COVID-19 continues to spike, people weren't sure how things would play out this season. Monday night showed exactly how things would play out, at least for the time being.
“It's amazing… I was here last year and the year before when it wasn’t full and campus was empty… I don’t know, it makes me feel good and normal…” one fan said.
Political theory and constitutional democracy senior Jack Gasper went on and said that although it makes him happy to see fans in the stands, it makes him nervous at the same time.
“It makes me happy… nervous and happy I guess," Gasper said. "It's exciting to see fans in a stadium, but at the same time with the Delta variant, I am a little concerned with the amount of people in the same vicinity of each other."
It’s easy to understand the worries of Gasper as Michigan State welcomed back thousands of students in the last week as the pandemic continues to spike again.
Despite that, the players are excited to see fans in the stands once again after a season without them.
“It means everything," Michigan State midfielder Michael Miller said. "Making that last sprint— that goal there, I just wanted to run to (the students) because they’re encouraging us the whole game no matter what. “We’re down a goal, they’re still yelling for us. They’re still there for us."
There was no doubt that the fans played a factor in this game. Seeing how the crowd reacted after Miller scored the first and only goal for the Spartans showed how a crowd can impact the emotions of a player and team as a whole. Fans shot up from their seats as soon as the ball hit the back of the net. People were chanting, cheering and supporting their Spartans in any way that they could. Ultimately, it gave this soccer team a boost that they fed off of.
Not only were the fans ecstatic to see green and white shirts cheer them on, but so was Michigan State men's soccer Head Coach Damon Rensing.
“It's awesome," Rensing said. "It shows that we put a good product out there, that people want to come and see it… The (Red Cedar) Rowdies were awesome... If you haven’t been to a game at DeMartin, you’re missing out.”
While there are still concerns about Covid-19, The Red Cedar Rowdies are going to make an impact on this team going forward, something they have always done in the past, rain or shine.
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