BY DAVE SCHRACK, SPORTS EDITOR
The field was overrun with mosquitoes and gnats, even as day turned to dusk turned to night. Cleats and shoes drifting through the natural grass gradually collected loose blades and trimmings with the glue of accumulating dew. And that natural grass was all there was to see—lines identifying the parameters of the field both in bounds and out were either fading or nonexistent. One could hardly tell exactly where the penalty box formed outside of the net.
To the men’s and women’s club soccer teams, the intramural fields outside the West Campus parking lot are home, not only because both teams practice there multiple times a week, but because they host games there as well.
It is important, though, to note that those practices and games are determined not by George Mason but by the clubs themselves.
This is because both teams are, for the most part, run independently, despite being a sanctioned and official club sport.
“We’re kind of our own managers, we set up everything,” Nick Clements, president of the men’s team, said. “We have to set our own games, [and] make our own budgets.”
The clubs do receive funding from the school, but it’s just enough to thrive and function.
“We have funding from the club sports, but we also have to make funding for our team as well,” Clements said.
Maggie Blondin, president of the women’s team, said that most of both team’s budgets “comes from within ourselves.”
The women’s team has also had to rely on themselves for coaching because of funding. This season, however, they do “have a real coach,” Blondin said. “We had one my freshman year, and then last year, we kind of had one, but it kind of fell apart.”
Blondin said that “we don’t have the funding to get a coach,” so no one would volunteer unless they are familiar with the “organization, and know what it’s about, know what it’s like.”
Their previous coach, for example, had played for the team when she was a Mason student. The same is true for the current men’s club coach.
But neither team is fazed about the level of funding.
“We get what we need,” Blondin said. “I mean, if we needed more, they would give us more.”
Clements said that “a lot of players that come out usually have played travel in high school, so they have the potential to either play D3 or D2, even D1, but they’re out here just for fun.”
The teams divide their regular seasons and postseasons by semester.
Regular season games take place during the fall, while postseason games take place in the spring.
The men’s team has currently played six games (amassing a record of 2-2-1), while the women’s has played five (with a record of 3-2). They are scheduled for more games throughout October and November.
When it comes to the postseason, games have a more easygoing approach to competition. Players and teams participate mostly for fun and experience.
“There’s no qualifying for anything, it’s all just playing for fun, and whatever you can schedule, you schedule,” Blondin said.
For the men’s team, Clements said, “depending on how we do in our bracket, we go to regionals if we’re first place.
Their games are usually held on the intramural fields, most often on IM Field 3 or 4. Games are sometimes also held on the RAC field.
If someone is interested in joining either of the teams, they can contact the men’s team at firstname.lastname@example.org, and the women’s team at email@example.com.