By MATHIEU WETMORE
It may not be the English Premier League that takes place in Europe and attracts the greatest players in the world, but it is the premier intramural sport of the spring at the University of Mary Washington, and it attracts the greatest soccer players that the campus has to offer.
The IM outdoor soccer season is currently underway, and students of all athletic backgrounds are set to do battle for the coveted championship t-shirt. The annual league put on by Campus Recreation is one of the more popular of intramural sports, attracting as many students to play as the popular flag football and basketball leagues.
“It’s a friendly competition, everyone is a good sport,” said senior business major Reid Hendrick.
One of the best aspects of intramural sports is the creative naming of the teams playing, which is certainly shown in the 2015 season.
It will be exciting to see how it goes down for team “2 Goals, 1 Cup” in the intramural soccer tournament this spring. Team “Dry Rub,” 2-1 in tournament play so far, proved that they are ready for the rough four-week long season. The Psi Upsilon and Kappa Sigma fraternity chapters also signed up to play making for a deep, diverse competition, as the teams get deeper into the tournament.
There are 31 teams participating in the intramural soccer tournament. Teams can sign up in the co-ed leagues, men’s leagues or the women’s leagues for whichever skill level they desire.
It was a busy time for the tournament this weekend, with10 soccer games played on the Campus Recreation turf field behind Alvey Hall. An additional 11 games will also be played throughout this week.
“I personally enjoy giving students who have never played before a platform to play and learn the sport in a competitive yet fun environment,” said Moe Bahhur, intramural supervisor and a senior geography major.
As one of the most popular intramural sports of the UMW community, friends and fans come out to support to the players. It is easy for teams to enjoy themselves in the friendly atmosphere while playing under the lights, demonstrating how much UMW students enjoy playing soccer.
Matthew Garstka, captain of team Gibberts, a junior business major, is ready to burn through the competition.
“I was recruited here to swim, but the real reason I came here was to follow my dream and play intramural soccer,” said Garstka.
Arguably the world’s most popular sport, soccer will be the perfect stress relief as final exams creep closer.