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After the stands opened to all students, what are the general thoughts about the new varsity season?

After a full season of no varsity activities, the venue gates have finally opened and have started welcoming students to the stands as well. Many of the McMaster Marauders teams already have their seasons well under way. For example, the women's soccer team has already played six games within the Ontario University Athletics Championship, with five resulting in a win for the Marauders and one ending in a draw.

The women's varsity soccer team is not the only one who started the season off well, as the men’s varsity team has also performed to a high standard within the OUA championships, losing only one game from their first appearances in the tournament.  

However, these teams were not alone in their success. Over the first month of games, both have managed to attract considerable crowds to not only the Ron Joyce, but away games as well. 

In their tightest game of the season so far against the University of Toronto Varsity Blues that ended as a draw, the Marauders managed to get a good crowd at the Ron Joyce, attracting about 200 fans to watch them play the game. 

However, shortly before that, the women's varsity team also played against the Blues, striking an impressive two to one win. Even during this game, there were about 150 spectators in the stands cheering the Marauders on. Evidently, the spectatorship boosted the Marauders’ chances of seeding high in the play-offs with their exceptional start to the season. 

What do these events look like from a fan's perspective? How does it feel to watch numerous varsity games for the first time in a very long time or for the first time ever? Jared Paul, a second-year software engineering student, expressed his excitement at being able to support his friends from the stands. 

“It truly is a good feeling being able to help your friends play the best they can. I went to a couple of women's varsity soccer games and got to watch and cheer on with a few of my other friends. It was quite something,” 

JARED PAUL

When asked about how he got into watching the varsity sports so often, Paul explained how he and his friends would often go as a group. 

“Sometimes, after I [finished] studying for my lectures in the afternoon, a couple of my friends and housemates would text me asking if I’d be willing to watch the games at the stadium in person with them. Most of the time I’d come because we personally know the players on the teams that play and that is what makes it more exciting,” explained Paul. 

Although Paul was enthusiastic about attending the games consistently, he urged others to get involved as well. 

“There are more and more of us every game and that is great. At the beginning of the season there were barely any people, but now there's a nice crowd [at the varsity soccer games] every time. I really do want more people to come and join us; it would be great to see the trend continue,” said Paul. 

If you are willing to support any varsity team at this time, you can purchase tickets from the Marauders website for any sport. 

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