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MWSU Men’s Soccer

Missouri Western recently became witness to a revitalized men’s soccer club this past semester. One determined, goal-driven athlete took to the Athletics department to bargain for the men’s soccer team to be brought back. With the help of the SGA, Athletics department and of course other male student athletes looking to sink their teeth into the newly revamped sports program, freshman Engoma Fataki is proud to be a part of what he considers his second home, on the soccer field.
“I was prompted to start this team because soccer was the only sport I played throughout my entire life,” said Fataki. “It played a major factor in motivation to organize this team.”
Fataki wanted to clarify that the team had previously already existed before he arrived on campus this past year. Three years ago it was founded by mostly international students, but since then they haven’t had the chance to play any actual games against competing schools. It was basically a pick-up team where students came to play for fun.
“I started where they left off, and I kept the dream alive by taking the team above and beyond,” said Fataki. “So far, we have played three games and we are looking at three more before this semester ends. The next game will take place at Spratt Stadium on April 2nd and after that we are taking to the road to play.”
The team is technically still not recognized as an official school sport, so practices are limited to the Open GISC usually on Wednesdays, 8pm. The Athletics department and SGA are extremely happy to see these students take an interest in the club, and fully support the idea of growing the brand into possible tournament entries and putting the MWSU name on their wins and losses, home and away games, etc.
“Club teams do not fall under the Intercollegiate Athletics oversight,” said athletics director Kurt McGuffin. “They go through intramurals and recreation. I did meet with the students to see if we could help in any way. We are trying to assist with some equipment and field needs if possible.”
Engoma spoke about his obligations to the club, as he took on the role of VP for them because of his leadership in the charge for a resurgence in the club.
“I am a vice president, so my duties are as follows,” said Fataki. “Both I and other directors look for the next team to play against, schedule meetings where the board of directors meet and discuss soccer issues, and I also meet with school staff including the director of athletics, the head coach of women’s soccer and other departments to make sure that we are not violating the university policy.”
Fully backing the student’s passion for the sport, the entire athletics department and SGA/student body alike look forward to seeing what the guys have in store. It especially motivates students to get out and try new things, and of course promotes healthy attitudes as well.
“I love that students want to get involved with club sports,” said McGuffin. “The biggest thing is to stay healthy and active. This gives students something to be prideful of and keeps them competitive.”
The club looks ahead to the future in hopes that they can fulfill more slots in tournaments against other universities and collegiate teams. As of this year, though, they have been taking their games with huge determination and much optimism. The club would like to extend a sincere thank you to everyone involved to help them on the journey. Every penny spent to forgo a successful home/away game is genuinely appreciated.
“The SGA is playing a major factor in financing the games,” said Fataki. “Our very first game was sponsored by the SGA. Every game we hold on main campus, we pay for the field fees and a referee. The SGA has sponsored some of our games. That means a lot to me knowing we have support from the student body.”
Since this wouldn’t fall under the category of an NCAA sponsored sport by MWSU, it currently does not have any effect on Title IX for the institution. That was a problem Fataki was worried they would possibly run into, but seeing as though they want to make the team official sometime in the next coming years, we’ll have to wait and see what the future holds.
“We have new perspective for the soccer team,” said Fataki. “This coming fall semester the Missouri Western Soccer Club goes beyond its previous focus, which was just to entertain students who actually play; but we have a new vision of playing with other institutions in the fall, being included in the tournament with other colleges and universities and carrying the school name whether we lose or win, the victory or loss in record of Missouri Western State University. I hope that the school will help us to keep this dream alive and take us even farther.”
Engoma explained thoroughly how much soccer meant to him and his peers. It truly is quite an amazing experience being able to make change at the school for the better, and seeing everyone involved benefiting in some way. Even if it’s just once a year, everyone on the team loves what they get to do and looks forward to each game they can afford. No regret, no complaints, and nothing but positivity from one student to the next. It certainly is what MWSU embodies.
“You might wonder why we are so interested in playing soccer,” said Fataki. “But as you might know, soccer is more than just entertaining ourselves and it’s more than just a game. Soccer is all about respect, friendship, love with entertainment, and as college students we all share this, that’s why we love soccer. I hope to see much more support in the future and I’m so thankful for this opportunity and for all the love this sport and everyone in it have shown.”

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