Gopher Soccer and the Story of Ooosss

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By: Edwina Reckel

The University of Minnesota women's soccer team is one of the few and proud teams that calls St. Paul, Minn. home. They are also the first college soccer program to reach over 5,000 fans on Facebook, so should anyone be surprised that their cheer is something unique as well?

Ooosss!

Head coach Mikki Denney Wright says it in the locker room before the team takes the field. Players yell it in team huddles. Some loyal fans shout along with the team, but how many actually know the meaning behind this strange word?

Ooosss can be spelled many different ways, but the term comes from Japan and was originally said in karate, combat and other battles. The word is made up of two parts. The first is "Ooo", which translates "to push" with all of your effort. It symbolizes the "fighting spirit" and to push away obstacles with an undeterred, positive attitude. The second part, "sss", means "to endure" and persevere through pain and tough times. Combined it represents an individual's pledge to do one's best and endure.

"For me, oosss means that I'll bring my best if you bring your best," says sophomore Steph Brandt." Ooosss has become part of what it means to be a Golden Gopher women's soccer player. It's one of our team's eight basic values, simply stating-'we will have Ooosss".

As many of you know, Gopher soccer provides a game experience second to none. It's not about a huge venue or views of downtown. You buy tickets for the game from a shack where the ticket looks more like a pass to a carnival than a ticket to see an elite D-1 women's athletic team play. This season, parents rallied together to make a covered patio to protect the players from the constantly changing weather elements and of course, some tailgating. Many may be surprised that Minnesota soccer has more fans on Facebook than Golden Gopher football and Golden Gopher hockey. This kind of fan support is something we take pride in. Here at the Robbie we like staying true to our roots and focus on what matters...the game. When sitting in the stands, it feels like you are part of an inclusive community, something we like to call the "Gopher Soccer Family."  

So to the fiercely loyal Gopher soccer fans that cheer the team on through all of the games-from the blazing sun at the beginning of August to those frigid October nights, Ooosss.

To the passionate coaches that devote their time and efforts to put an exciting and competitive team on the pitch year in and year out, Ooosss.

And to the players who balance busy schedules filled with practices/games, classes, friends, family and the list goes on...

Ooosss!

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