The Story Behind the Cover Photo

How student Eric Becker got that shot
Eric Becker kneels on the sidelines as he photographs the action with a long lens.

As a photography intern for Western Athletics, sophomore Eric Becker has photographed every home game this season for the women’s soccer team.

He’s learned to predict what players and coaches will do next and how to find places on the sidelines to get the best shots.

So, when it came time to capture the joyous moments of celebration following the team’s national championship victory over West Chester University in December, he was well-prepared.

But he wasn’t alone. Dozens of players, coaches, and fans mobbed the field to celebrate. “Add in photographers, reporters, and other multimedia professionals that are all gunning for the perfect angle for whatever they’re trying to cover, and the post-game can often be more difficult to cover than the actual game,” Becker says. “To take that picture, I made sure to stand my ground and wait for the perfect moment.”

Originally from Redondo Beach, California, Becker is planning to major in marketing. He started working as a freelance photographer in high school and served as the staff photographer for the Bellingham Bells Baseball Club during the summer of 2022. Today, he covers the dozen or so teams for Western Athletics while shooting club sports teams on the side.

But soccer is one of his favorites: “My first game covering WWU Athletics during my freshman year was a women’s soccer match against Northwest Nazarene University that we won 1-0, so it was really cool for me to almost come full circle in a way,” he says. “I still vividly remember that game to this day.” 

Celebration photo by Eric Becker. Photo of Becker by Sol Sanchez

Western women's soccer team cheers and hoists their trophies after winning the NCAA II national championships
Karina Provo raises the NCAA 2022 Division II Women’s Soccer National Championship trophy while surrounded by teammates after their win over West Chester University in the championship game held at Interbay Stadium in Seattle Dec. 3, 2022.