On 50th anniversary of Title IX, women’s soccer players stress importance of inclusion

“Title IX … gives us the freedom to feel comforted and confident when we come here and work hard,” junior forward Ella Barth said.


Kyle White

On the 50th anniversary of Title IX, players on the Baldwin Wallace women’s soccer team reflected on how the law supports them as college athletes.  

Established in 1972, Title IX prohibited sex-based discrimination in educational programs including college athletics. Steve Thompson, BW’s athletic director, delivered a presentation on the law to athletes before the beginning of the 2022 fall sports season.  

Sydney Rice, a junior All-Ohio Athletic Conference forward, said that the federal law protects everyone’s ability, regardless of gender, to participate in sports.  

“It’s hard being both a woman and athlete,” Rice said. “Title IX makes everyone equal, so there is no superior sex or team.”   

Title IX requires equal treatment of male and female athletes when it comes to many resources such as equipment, supplies, coaching and medical services. Paige Ackerman, a junior defender, said these benefits are felt in BW sports.  

“We are given the same resources [as the men’s soccer team] especially with academic training and physical and mental health,” Ackerman said. “Women have a lot offered [to them] in regard to health.”    

While BW is a smaller university where academics come before athletics, it is important that athletes have an inclusive environment where they can play the sports they love. Sophomore forward Ella Barth said that Title IX gives women “representation in sports” and allows everyone equal opportunity.  

“Title IX gives comfort as a woman athlete especially at a smaller school where a lot of people around here are athletes,” Barth said. “It gives us the freedom to feel comforted and confident when we come here and work hard.”  

The players said that BW’s compliance with Title IX helps foster a welcoming environment among all sports teams at BW.  

 “There is camaraderie between all of the sports teams which creates a community,” Ackerman said.  

Rice said the women’s soccer team has a particular collegiality with the men’s soccer team.  

“I feel like with the men’s team I’m treated as equal,” Rice said. “I’m close with the men’s team and they will compliment us if we win and they don’t treat us any different.”    

Not only is there friendship among the male and female players, but Ackerman said they are also equally shown off for their successes.   

“BW gives both men and women athletes the light to be shown off and appreciated,” said Ackerman.  

The BW women’s soccer team finished the regular season with a 9-8-1 win-loss-tie record and advanced to Ohio Athletic Conference tournament semifinals, where they ended their season with a 2-0 loss to Otterbein University on Nov. 4.