The Missouri Western Soccer Club started as a Facebook group in 2014 and has since grown into a competitive team of people who share a love for the sport.
In 2017 the club competed in their first season of play. Like any other team on campus, the squad traveled to surrounding schools to compete against other intramural teams.
The club is coming off its COVID-19 season. William Mason, club president, worked alongside previous president Konnor Wilson to abide by regulations and guidelines.
“Last year was pretty scattered,” Mason said. “We only ended up playing one (game), but with all the covid stuff that was going on, I felt very lucky that we even played at all.”
Senior, Jonathan Chapman, has been a part of the club since its inception and has recently become the league contact for the organization. He had worked out an eight game schedule with the Kansas Missouri Soccer League (KMSL).
The team was looking forward to a full season of league play. However, hours before their first scheduled game Missouri Western pulled the plug.
“We had the field reserved and had spoken to school officials,” Chapman said. “Two days before our first game, a meeting took place and I was contacted and told to shut it all down. No games at all. I felt like all my hard work was thrown away.”
Club treasurer, Gian Lombardino, believes that the reasoning that officials gave team leadership about ending the season could be easily misconstrued.
“The school shut our season down because of a discrepancy in liability,” Lombardino said. “They are working on a way to have the clubs be covered by insurance, but until then, we cannot play because of the liability risk. That’s what I understand from all of this.”
Even with a complete change in direction for the club this season, there will still be practices and potential “friendlies” with other schools. In addition, there will be a return to that ‘pickup’ style the club initially started with until the liability issues are dealt with.
There’s really no better time to join.
“We welcome everyone,” Chapman said. “If you’ve never touched a ball, we don’t care.”
The club is a great way to meet new people and to stay fit. Membership also presents the opportunity to be a part of the athletic community on campus.
“After high school, many students lose their passion for sports because they no longer have the chance to play competitively,” Lombardino said. “We try to restore some of that passion and competition through the soccer club.”
Western tore their season from them at the last moment, but that hasn’t stopped team representation from fighting for a season.
“Yes, we got shut down early in the year, and yes, it’s going to be hard to bounce back,” Mason said. “We plan to bounce back as soon as we can. We don’t plan on quitting.”
The club invites you to practice with them on Mondays and Tuesdays from 8-10 p.m. on the turf at Spratt stadium.