By Owen Kutlu, Staff Writer
There are many ways for students to get involved with their personal interests at Gettysburg College. One of these ways is Gettysburg’s club soccer team. Soccer enthusiasts who do not want the time commitment of playing at the varsity level may find club soccer to be a perfect fit.
The team offers the opportunity for students to have an outlet to play the game they love with others who share the same feelings. Captain Alex Saville ’25 remarked that it is nice the team “is not high stakes and [everybody] can just have fun.”
According to member Salim Alwazir ’24, the club soccer team is “a very inclusive environment and everyone is welcome to play.” He added that his favorite aspect is how “everyone comes together to have fun and get better.”
The club is also a great way to meet people of all different backgrounds. Captain and UK native Henry Schmeltzer ’24 reminisced on his sophomore year on the team. He described how the team “was able to attract international students and create opportunities to meet older students in different areas of student life.” The club soccer community is open to everyone who loves the sport.
The team uses the fields next to the tennis courts for practice, which run from 4:15 p.m. to roughly 6:00 p.m. on Monday, Wednesday and Friday. Since the club is unofficial, they only have access to a certain amount of resources. This makes it more difficult to do in depth drills, so practices usually consist of scrimmages.
Games are scheduled with nearby colleges, and they usually take place at the opponent’s school since Gettysburg’s recreational fields are not up to the standards to host games. Alwazir mentioned that the club is trying to convince the school to use Clark Field for games. This would allow the team to play more games throughout the season and not be forced to travel as much.
The team had their first match of the year against Dickinson on October 1st. They fell 3-1 on the road in Carlisle. Schmeltzer chalked the loss up to the fact that they “played well, but ultimately ran out of energy.” The team has some more games in the near future where they will look to bounce back. Saville noted that he is “looking forward to building up the team chemistry.”
Other fun soccer-related activities are also incorporated in the club in order to encourage member bonding. For instance, they hosted a FIFA tournament in early September to spur some light-hearted competition.
Any soccer fans looking to play casually or meet other people with similar interests on campus would find the club soccer team to be a fantastic, inviting group. The club soccer team is yet another example of one of the many great communities that are formed at Gettysburg College by the student body.
As the season continues, you can keep up with the team @gburgclubsoccer on Instagram.
Editor’s Note: After publication, The Gettysburgian was made aware that Gettysburg College does not officially recognize any club sport. The Gettysburgian reached out to the Athletics Department for a comment on the situation, and Executive Director of Athletics and Campus Recreation Mike Mattia said, “Gettysburg College does not sponsor or recognize any club sport that the College sponsors in NCAA intercollegiate athletics. This is based off of a recommendation from a comprehensive independent risk management review of all of our sports offerings.”
This article originally appeared on page 16 of the No. 2 October 2023 edition of The Gettysburgian’s magazine.