Stories produced by St. Peter's Journalism Students
By Jamie Lisanti
The Joseph J. Jaroschak field was missing soccer balls, cleats, and players last Saturday afternoon, but the spirit of Saint Peter’s Women’s soccer was not washed away by the torrential rainfall.
Over fifteen alumni soccer players returned to the Jersey City campus on Saturday, April 22nd, full of adrenaline and excited to compete against the current players and seek revenge for last year’s loss. Instead of canceling the entire event because of the inclement weather, players, coaches, alumni, parents, and friends joined together and moved the festivities to the parking garage by the Yanitelli Recreational Center. The smell of charcoal, grilled burgers and hot dogs prevailed over the dampness in the air.
“The barbeque is something we always do after home games, so even though we didn’t play the game, this type of event is something they [the alumni] were used to as Saint Peter’s soccer players,” Junior Chloe Zmolek said, “It’s definitely nostalgic for them.”
Head coach Brett Sarsfield spoke to the group about the team’s accomplishments over the last year, including winning a community service award and expanding the reach of the program by recruiting players from California, Arizona and other west coast states. The team also had the most wins in a season since 1991 and hopes to surpass this achievement in the upcoming fall season with the addition of several recruits and transfer student-athletes.
“Since I started here over a year ago, I made it a point to start a relationship with our alumni, and it is so great to see so many women excited about where the program is going in the future,” said Sarsfield.
The alumni that attended the event dated back to graduating classes of the mid-90s and several women were actually relieved that the game was cancelled. Kate Matousek, who graduated in 2010, said that she was excited but also very nervous about the game because she has not played soccer as often as she used to when she was in college.
“After graduating and getting a full-time job, it is a lot harder to stay fit and play soccer every day like I used to when I was here,” said Matousek, “But I was pumped to play the girls because I know I still got it!”
Enthusiasm, laughter, and memories were common themes at the event, despite the game cancellation and gloomy weather. Alums and current players are both are already looking forward to next year’s game.
Another alum, Bertha Muñoz, is expecting in July and was not going to lace up her cleats, but she was still excited about the event.
“I obviously could not have participated today,” said Muñoz, rubbing her baby bump, “But it’s nice to see such a great turnout and catch up with old friends.”