What happens when you combine a school that emphasizes the outdoors, an extremely active student body, and a rigorous academic schedule? You get a damn good turn out during intramural soccer season. As one of the most popular intramural sports on campus, soccer is played by 356 of the 2,131 students—nearly 17 percent of the student body. In fact, CC is the #4 nationally ranked school on the Princeton review’s “Everybody Plays Intramural Sports” list.
The semifinals for the intramural soccer league took place this past Monday, Nov. 7,, on Slocum quad. Preparing for their game on this gorgeous sunny day were sophomores Noah Shuster and Quin Gattey who arrived early to practice their shots on goal.
Shuster and Gattey, members of the Turkish Battle Canons, went into their semi-final game with feelings of elation and hunger: they wanted to advance to the finals and take home the gold. Gattey, who plays goalie, admitted to feeling euphoric minutes before the game started. “We are ecstatic to be here but not yet satisfied,” Gattey said. “People are ready to go, so I’m excited to see what happens today.”
For their semifinal game, the team knew they wanted to focus both on team play and the utilization of individual skills. “Our strength is our ability to know when we need to play more team-oriented soccer as opposed to focusing on our individual skills,” said Shuster.
Gattey agreed, but added that the team’s individual skills were an important aspect to their success. “We have speed on the wings, strong and aggressive defense in the back, and solid distributors in the middle of the field,” he said. “The chemistry on the field has grown a lot and the roles on the team are more established now.”
Going into their semifinal game with this positive and confident attitude, the Turkish Battle Canons fought their way to victory. It was a game that will go down in intramural soccer history.
For the entire duration of the game the score remained 0-0. After regulation, the teams went into overtime, which consists of two five-minute halves played golden goal style, meaning the game ends when the first team scores. The two five-minute periods went through and no one scored, so the game went into penalty kicks. Unlike traditional penalty kicks, these were like hockey breakaways in that each player got to start in the middle of the field and had five seconds to run with the ball and shoot. Both teams went through their entire rotation of players and still the tie couldn’t be broken. “It was crazy,” said Turkish Battle Canon midfielder and sophomore Zac Schulman. “Every time they would score, we would score. Every time they missed, we missed.”
Back and forth it kept going until finally, during his second time through the rotation, a player on the other team missed and Schulman scored the game-winning goal.
Both Schulman and Shuster agree that soccer may be one of the most intense intramural sports at CC. “So many athletes in intramurals—especially soccer—played high school soccer or club soccer or even considered playing at CC,” Shuster said, “so there are kids that I’ve never heard of playing a collegiate sport, but they are freaking nasty on the intramural soccer field.”
With their 1-0 win on Monday, the Turkish Battle Canons will face off against the Papi Chulos on Slocum quad, Friday Nov. 11, at 3:30 p.m.
“I think it’s a group of fabulous individuals who know how to kick butt (and balls) and look beautiful doing it,” senior midfielder Annika Kastetter said. “This final match is the biggest moment of my life. Hands down.” Whatever you do, don’t miss the action.