The lights never seem to be too bright for the Notre Dame Soccer team. After all, the squad has already won 11 games this season. But when you take a look up and down the Irish roster, you will notice something very uncommon with a boys team. There are girls on the roster, too.
"Well I didn't really view it any differently from being on an all girls team. I mean, we're all the same. So it doesn't really matter," Notre Dame sophomore midfielder Caroline McKee said.
Notre Dame High School does believe they're all the same. Notre Dame is a private school, which is not big enough to feature both a boys and girls team. So as a result, if you're a girl wanting to play soccer, then you will play on the boys team.
"I just look at everybody as soccer players rather than what sex they are, whether they are male or female. It's irrelevant at this point. We've always had a co-ed team here and that's probably how it will always be. So we just look at them as soccer players," Notre Dame Boys Soccer Head Coach Ian McAra said.
But if you ask the ladies, they will tell you there is a big transition process.
"I mean, the physicality is pretty big because I am pretty small. We play against senior guys, so they are bigger than us," Notre Dame sophomore midfielder Allie Ridgway said.
"It's more of a challenge playing against guys and it makes you better as a player. But after you play with them for so long, you don't really notice the differences because it's normal to you," Irish junior defender Katie Shaffer said.
It has become the new normal for the Irish. Junior forward Phil Chafin leads the team with 33 goals on the entire season. He says the girls are just as talented.
"They add a lot," Chafin said. "I mean, you have boys on other teams that are pretty good. But we have girls that are just as good. It surprises a lot of people, but we're used to it."
It may surprise everyone outside of the Notre Dame community, but on the inside, it's only soccer.
"It definitely makes you have to work harder. You have to build up your strength and your speed. You have to push yourself more than you would if you played against the girls. I think towards other teams, they might think it's different. But to us, it's not. We're more of a family. It really brings us together," Notre Dame sophomore midfielder Francesca Steele said.