Stephens College Soccer player Melissa Martinez and softball player Mia Adriano discuss what it is like to be a woman in sports.

  • What is your grad year, major, hometown? 

Melissa Martinez: “I will be graduating this coming May (2023). I am earning my Bachelor’s in Business Administration, and I am from Bolivia South America.”

Mia Adriano: “I will be graduating in 2024. I’m majoring in Health Science, and I’m from San Antonio, Texas.”Mia Adriano tagging out a player.

  • What is your favorite memory from your sport?

Melissa: “My favorite soccer memory is when my grandfather used to buy me banana shakes after practice. We would chat about how practice went, and what I can do better next time. My grandfather is the one who supported me to start playing soccer, and the one who continues to support me to follow my dreams and to fight for them!’

Mia: “I don’t have a favorite softball memory. Every practice is different, with different energy, and different levels of passion and excitement. However, I really love game days because we always have so much fun. The dugout is constantly roaring with cheers, everyone is on their feet for hours on end laughing and enjoying the time that we have with one another and enjoying a game that we have all put countless hours of work into. My FAVORITE thing about playing is the dugout snacks. We always have the best selection of snacks to choose from. If you check my pockets on game days, more often than not, you’ll find a few packs of gummies and a Gogo squeeze pouch.”

  • What do you think one of the biggest struggles is for women in sports? 

Melissa: “I personally believe that one of the biggest struggles for women in sports is that we do not feel supported enough, and sometimes people do not take us seriously. Also, there is not enough funding or budgets for women’s sports. Some women struggle with emotional and psychological issues. I strongly believe all these issues could be fixed if we compromised in helping them (women).”

Melissa Martinez kicking the ball

Mia: “I don’t think that women get enough credit. The social stigma surrounding women’s sports is always portrayed in a negative manner. There is no respect or backup coming from society to help women’s sports be viewed in the same way men’s sports are.”

  • Does going to a women's college make you feel more appreciated and accepted as a woman in sports? How? 

Melissa: "Going to an all-women’s school has helped me feel more welcome and supported in sports. I believe that soccer, or any sport, brings people together and forms a family, and that is what happened with me and my soccer friends. More than teammates, we are a family.”

Mia: “Attending a women’s college does give me a sigh of relief. Since there are no men’s sports to steal the spotlight, all the sports teams on campus get their own spotlight during their season. I absolutely love the fact that Stephen’s athletes as a whole are supportive of each other. The softball team tries to show face at other teams’ games on several different occasions. The athletics program at Stephens is steadily on the rise, and it’s refreshing to look in the stands and see some of your friends there to support and enjoy what you and your team have been working on for the past few months.”

  • How do you make the most out of your time as a student athlete at Stephens?

Melissa: “Being an athlete at Stephens College has helped me grow as a player and as a person. The Stephens community is supportive and caring. I love spending time with my friends on and off the field.”

Mia: “Most of the time, I’m at practice with my team having fun and learning how to become a better athlete and teammate. The few hours we do not have practice or games, I’m hanging out with my teammates. This is probably my favorite thing to do. I love learning more about them and creating strong bonds so that it can be carried over to the field.”


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