Last Tuesday wasn’t the first time Brandi Wright, a senior co-captain on the Temple women’s soccer team, was close to terrorism.
In 1995, when the Oklahoma City Federal building was blown up, Wright was only three hours away as a freshman in an Olathe, Kan. high school.
It took a while for her to forget about the attack, but this summer when convicted bomber Timothy McVeigh was executed, the memories of that April day came rushing back.
|We would have probably been thinking about it and everything, so it was good to play. We had a day off and then we were able to get out there and start practicing again. We talked about it at practice but coach Seamus McWilliams just wanted us to be able to move on.
Wright, the rest of the soccer team and the world were forced to witness terrorism again last week.
Women’s soccer (4-1) was the only Temple team to play a game last weekend. They beat Virginia Commonwealth 3-1 on Saturday.
Playing a game, and not cowering from terrorism, helped Wright and the rest of the team, she said.
“It was good to be out there and just be able to play,” Wright said. “Kind of move on, not forget, but move on.”
Temple football, volleyball, field hockey and men’s soccer games were all canceled last weekend. The women’s soccer game was originally scheduled for Friday but postponed until Saturday.
Virginia Commonwealth was already in town and the game had to be played.
“We would have probably been thinking about it and everything, so it was good [to play],” Wright said. “We had a day off [Wednesday] and then we were able to get out there and start practicing again. We talked about it at practice but coach [Seamus McWilliams] just wanted us to be able to [move on].”
Before the game on Saturday at Temple Stadium, players and fans paused for a tribute to the victims of the terrorist attack.
From the practicing baseball players to the softball players taking part in a fall tournament, everyone took part in a minute of silence and an emotional national anthem to the flag that still hung at half-staff in Tuesday’s 4-2 win over Drexel.
“I thought it was better for us to do it because it got our minds off of things,” said junior co-captain Johanna Yemm. “It was like a stress relief more than anything.”
McWilliams did not want the game to take place, according to an athletic department spokesman.
When asked about playing Saturday’s game on Tuesday, the usually talkative McWilliams closed up.
“It’s something that happened,” he said, “and I just want to move on.”
Yemm said she would have been okay if they canceled the game, but wanted to play. She, like most of the team, used the game to get her mind off of things.
“I thought it was a great thing for us to get our minds off of it,” Yemm said. “With everything else being canceled [college football, major league baseball, professional football] I thought that was a good idea too, because in America I think we have to take time and actually reflect and feel what happened instead of always being so fast paced and on the go.
“I would have been okay with [the game being canceled] too, but I thought it was okay that they kept it because I thought it was good for us to get out our aggression.”
Wright says it takes a long time for the feelings of anxiety to go away, but playing helps.
“It’s still going to be there and affect you everyday when you think about it,” she said. “You know it’s there but you’re going to have to move on with your life because it happened and it can’t be taken back.”
Temple hosts Sienna on Saturday at 1 p.m. at Temple Stadium.