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Mountaineers Take the Crown

On Saturday Sept. 9, the Berea College men's soccer team opened its season with a bang.

Mountaineers in their first game of the season against Crown College

Matched against the men’s team from Crown College, fans didn’t know what to expect, since it was the first game of the year. On thing was certain though: from start to finish the fans would be right beside their team. In what could only be called a landslide, the Mountaineers, led by Enrique Garcia and Mzwandile Ginindza, devastated Crown College with a stunning 7 points before the second half. The Berea college Men’s team finished off with a hefty score of 9 – 0.

The match started off a bit one sided, with the Mountaineers in major possession of the ball. Giving Crown the run around, they kept control and continuously drove the ball down the field, firing shot after shot, which resulted in an uproar from the Berea College cheering section.

The fan base for men’s soccer is quite a diverse group, but what else would you expect from Berea College, a school that prides it’s self with religious, social and ethnic diversity. Everyone with majors ranging from Music to Spanish to Sociology all came together to support their team and enjoy some solid entertainment. Although the Mountaineers were in the lead this didn’t keep the Berea College fans from pushing their team forward.

The fans were nothing short of electrified as the score climbed higher. Self-described soccer fanatic Christin Roberson said it best when she said, “The mix of players compliments each other well and they have all the elements to win.” In a kind of addicting excitement, the Mountaineers finished the game on top, leaving their fans hungry for more. “I can’t wait to watch as the season progresses and they continue to improve,” says Roberson.

“I'm sure I speak with the rest of the team when I say the crowd support this year has been amazing," states third-year veteran Anthony Aros. "It's always great playing a big game under the lights with a large section cheering you on. We really appreciate all the support.”

Since the home-opener, the season has had it ups and down, but most would agree that the Mountaineers are still on top. Team building is one goal for this year's team. Brimming with individual talent, the members of the team are actively seeking a way to unify the different players and use their strengths and weaknesses in an advantageous way.

“I can bravely say that this team has a lot of potential," shares senior and last year's All-American Scholar Athlete Mzwandile Ginindza. "Our goalkeeper has had brilliant saves, our defense has been working hard on its weak points and they are improving, and we have a bunch of skillful middle fielders and strikers. We also have a large pool of new players from varying soccer backgrounds and styles, so we are working on blending these into a formidable team.”

The classification of the players is one other factor to consider. On the one hand you have freshman who are just beginning to learn the game of soccer at the college level. Although less experienced, they have the potential and will become the future of the Berea College men's soccer team. Then there are the senior players who know the game and play it well.

“This could be my last year playing competitive soccer," says Ginindza, "and for me, that is a very sad thought to face. So on that note, I would love to end it on a rather great manner. It is pushing me to put up my best. I do not necessarily want to be seen as the best player to have played here in my time, rather I want to be remembered as one member who contributed and gave his heart to Berea soccer.”

Although the veterans are leaving the team they have a lot of knowledge to share with the less experienced players. The goal for the team is to use these two resources and those in between to develop a great team.

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