With winter break rapidly approaching, the women’s soccer team sits in a comfortable lead in this year’s Student- Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC) President’s Cup as of last week’s update.
Women’s soccer has totaled 7,185 points so far this academic year, and they lead by just over 3,000 points to last year’s Cup winner the women’s field hockey team who sits in second place, ahead of third place softball with 2,535 points.
“They (field hockey) were outstanding, they were at everything,” SAAC President Mallory Heinle said. “Always taking pictures, doing extra events, extra community service, volunteering; things like that. But this year has been super exciting to see people get even more excited about it and more teams get more competitive because at the end of the day we are all athletes.”
SAAC is NCAA wide is established so student athletes to have a bigger voice on their campuses and within the community. Each team on campus has two representatives and they can be coach selected or team selected. Every school has their own role with SAAC and how active it is, Heinle explained.
Heinle, a senior early childhood and special education major, is currently in her second year as SAAC president, along with being in her final season on the women’s basketball team, as one of the team’s top forwards. Heinle said last year she was still learning and was trying to figure out her position in SAAC.
“As president I kind of gear things,” Heinle said. “I was really learning last year and just trying to figure out what I needed my role to be. What personally did Slippery Rock SAAC need out of their president and in the past we were trying things, but we weren’t very successful for numerous reasons, but we just needed more life.”
That new life was sparked when Heinle attended the Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference (PSAC) SAAC convention in the spring of her sophomore year, being one of the two SRU representatives that each school sent. At the convention, Heinle learned a lot of information and tips that would help her as she became President the following semester.
“I really just tried to up our engagement, from our athletes, from the community, from the campus community. Just wanted more participation, more buy-in, and just have a better voice from SAAC moving forward,” Heinle said.
At the convention, Heinle was able to see how other schools from the PSAC ran SAAC, and one thing that caught her attention was the idea of the President’s Cup which she launched last year.
Along with the President’s Cup, Heinle learned that Rock SAAC needed to put more energy towards one thing and that was fundraising because up until recently, SRU would only have one big fundraiser, with only a few small ones on the side, Heinle explained.
“When I went to that conference and saw what other schools were doing, I knew we needed to put a bigger emphasis on our fundraising,” Heinle said. “But to get to more fundraising we had to encourage more buy-in from the bottom, so not right away with our fundraisers, but just getting people more excited about SAAC.”
The President’s Cup runs the entire school year and will conclude in the summer which means there is plenty of time for teams to make so moves on women’s soccer such as fourth place football with 2,420 points and fifth place women’s basketball with 2,240. Academic and athletic honors earn team points such as Athlete of the Week, or even a team winning their PSAC Championship can count towards the award.
Updates on the presidents cup and other SAAC events or news can be found on their Instagram and Twitter pages.