Men's soccer club officially created
Soccer is the most popular sport throughout the world but not in the U.S. or in Minot. The increasing number of international students attending Minot State University raised the need for a soccer community.
MSU’s soccer lovers have a tradition of playing indoor Friday nights from 8 to 10 p.m. on the Wellness Center’s second floor. The soccer pitch is separated from the basketball court by a glass wall and net. No one playing last week knew exactly when the tradition started, but Jeremey Mochoma, a junior management information system major from Kenya, said that he has been playing here since 2014.
“If you’re new and do not know anyone, don’t worry. Just come here and there is always a team ready to adopt you,” Mochoma said.
Each team includes four players plus a goalie. The two-hour play involves 10-minute scrimmage games. A game ends when a team scores two goals or plays the 10 minutes, whichever comes first. The winning team stays on the pitch, and teams are rotated on and off throughout the night.
Last week, there were about 25 people who came to play. Most of them were international students from various countries such as Nigeria, Malawi, Zimbabwe, Zambia, Egypt, Brazil, Canada, Armenia, Qatar, Tajikistan, Mongolia, Malaysia, and Vietnam. Players ranged from beginner to intermediate from ages 18-45 years old.
The competition was intense because no team wanted to wait outside the pitch for the next rotation — a possible 30-minute wait with so many teams present. Arguing happened occasionally because there was no referee, but the players settled it down quickly by themselves, and losing wasn’t too terrible because waiting led to good conversation off the pitch. “It’s not only about making new friends, you can also learn about a new culture or a new country,” Dalerjon Rustamov, a computer science major from Tajikistan, said.
People brought many different soccer styles mirroring the style of play from their country. For example, the South American players showed good technique and skills, while African players were strong and fast, and Asian players were flexible during last week’s play.
“The Friday soccer night is something they are waiting for at the end of the week. After a whole week studying and working, playing soccer is a good way to help us relax,” Rustamov said.
Although it’s known as Men’s Soccer Club, it is open for everyone.
Tori Schemenauer, a Canadian student majoring in communication disorders, isn’t the only girl to play on Friday nights. Even though this is her first semester at MSU, she could compete with these guys from the beginning.
“I have been playing here a couple times,” Schemenauer said. “I can learn some cool skills. These guys play nice, and they treat me like a player, not like a woman player.”
Emmanuel Offia, a freshman computer science major from Nigeria, wants to bring the Friday night soccer to a new level. He is eager to create an MSU Men’s Soccer Club, recruit students, and contact an adviser and a head coach for the club.
There were 17 students signed up for the club at the time of writing. After Offia submitted all the paper work to the Student Activities office last week, the club was officially created.
Confidence Idim, a junior computer science major from Nigeria who has been playing Friday night soccer for a year, was voted team captain.
“Our vision is to build a team that can compete with other teams in a division for college students,” Idim said.