In what started out as an open gathering for Missouri Western students to play pickup soccer games once a week, has now turned into a competitive soccer club.
The MWSU Soccer Club is a club sports team that has been put together by students to play soccer competitively. It happens in the fall semester and has played against numerous universities, such as Northwest, Wichita St. and KU. It became big in 2016, and junior Engoma Fataki was one of the students who have gotten it to where it is today.
“It was created a few years ago before I came here, but the main purpose was to get a few students to play pickup games,” Fataki said. “When I came here, a few other students and I got together and took it a step further.”
In order to get the Soccer Club to where it is today, Fataki tried to make it more than just soccer. Bringing in a variety of different people has made the club more diverse and is also why it has grown over the past few years.
“I think it matters when you are not just playing with them but meeting the people and getting to know them,” Fataki said. “Not only do you know the person from the quality of their soccer skills, but you also get to know their background and where they are coming from. I think that is what has made an impact and made the Soccer Club as big as it is.”
Although the club was created to bring together a diverse group of students, they still play and practice competitively. Junior Frantz Sanon explains how it has developed in the past few years.
“It used to just be people coming to the GISC and playing pickup games,” Sanon said. “Now, we have a lot of people interested in actually playing exhibition games. We were able to communicate with others with the same vision we had to make the club as big as it is now.”
In 2016, they weren’t able to get any games scheduled. However, they started to do so in 2017, since there is a process that has to be done in order to play games against other universities’ club teams.
“By signing up, there’s a fall league that happens every year and it’s with schools in the Midwest Region,” Sanon said. “Whichever teams are willing to sign up and participate can play, and that’s how a team can compete against other collegiate club teams.”
The Soccer Club was scheduled to play seven games last fall, but only played six games due to a forfeit and finished with a 3-4 record. The club has grown and is involved all year long, according to junior Caleb Poku.
“We have probably around 30 people right now,” Poku said. “We usually play games in the fall, and we do intramurals in the spring. The Soccer Club puts together an entire tournament for anybody to participate in.”
The Soccer Club has hosted numerous games at Spratt Stadium in the past two fall semesters and has also traveled to other universities to play. SGA funding and some members of the club contributing some money has helped the club get where there are now financially.
“Some people in the club contributed a fair amount to get us some team uniforms,” Poku said. “The university has busses to travel somewhere with an organization, so we were able to rent them to go to games thanks to SGA funding.”
The Soccer Club have also been awarded the “Spirit of the Griffon” award at the SOAR reception at Missouri Western in early April. That award demonstrated continual commitment to achieve excellence and success.
Every Wednesday at 8 p.m., the Soccer Club gets together and plays soccer in the GISC. It is open for any students who want to play and can also join the team.