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GRCC Athletics adding men’s and women’s soccer teams in 2023, responding to growing interest in the sport

Sept. 15, 2022 - GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. – Soccer is coming to Grand Rapids Community College, a move that Athletic Department leaders say is a response to a growing interest in the sport nationally and an increasing number of requests from potential student-athletes.

 Athletic Director Lauren Ferullo said men’s and women’s soccer teams will be ready to compete in fall 2023. It will be the first time GRCC has fielded soccer teams.

"I'm ecstatic to be able to add men's and women's soccer to our offering of sports here at GRCC," Ferullo said. "As a former college soccer player and head coach, the sport is near and dear to me.”

Ferullo said soccer is currently the most asked about sport from prospective student-athletes when they visit campus.

“Adding the teams will create opportunities for our students in the community that we serve,” she said.

Soccer is the most followed sport in the world and is growing in popularity in the United States. The FIFA World Cup, the quadrennial international soccer championship, is planned to be played in the United States, Canada and Mexico in 2026. Interest in the sport increased in 1994, when four World Cup matches were played in Michigan in the Pontiac Silverdome when the United States hosted the tournament.

Currently GRCC offers volleyball, women's basketball, men's basketball, golf, baseball, softball, men's cross country and women's cross country.  Soccer will be the first new sport introduced since the cross country program was resurrected in 2014.

The Michigan Community College Athletic Association includes five colleges with men’s and women’s soccer programs: Muskegon Community College, Schoolcraft College, Jackson College, Ancilla College and Lake Michigan College fielding teams. Kellogg Community College, St. Clair Community College and Delta College have women’s teams.

Ferullo said the Athletic Department will hire coaches and recruit players starting immediately.