Poughkeepsie, N.Y. – Just like the sport soccer, it was a team effort from four guys to start up a new sports club at Marist College. Seniors Cory Lang, Luke Frederick, Brian Jahnke, and Antonino Criscuolo were the pioneers in figuring out all the pieces to start the first ever mens club soccer team at Marist College.
“We wanted to start the club soccer team because we recognized the void that it would fill,” said Lang. These seniors knew that Marist needed a club soccer team not only because they’ve been playing most of their lives, but the level of competition from intramural was a sign that there can be more.
“Coming from the University of Pittsburgh and playing club soccer there I knew the guys here at Marist were missing out,” said Frederick.
“We needed something more competitive than intramurals and we believed we could build a team that would be able to compete against other schools in the region,” said Criscuolo.
While they knew why they wanted to start the club, the journey from the idea to an actual team was much more demanding. “I tried with a few guys back during my sophomore year and we ran into some issues with the athletic department,” said Lang.
“Shawn Conboy the new coordinator of club athletics contacted us saying he would back us up on starting a mens club soccer club and realized our passion during our previous attempt a few years back,” said Criscuolo. “We had to become an official club before we could register to the league of Region 1 NIRSA, “ said Cruscuolo.
“This entailed gathering a list of necessary information like the by-laws, a affordable budget, and an overall plan to submit to SGA, “ said Frederick. “We had to present to SGA and then have them vote on our proposal,” said Criscuolo.
“In the budget we had to allocate for transportation, official fees, registration for the league, equipment, and coaches salary etc,” said Criscuolo. “Throughout this process last spring we were all pressed for time; that was our biggest obstacle because SGA had a packed schedule and they were able to squeeze us into their last meeting of the year,” said Frederick.
“I remember for me the most challenging part of this whole process was making sure our presentation was good enough to get us approved and waiting for the SGA staff to decide,” said Criscuolo. “It took a lot of effort to coordinate with different departments and groups of people in order to formally start the team,” said Lang.
“We had to stay patient during the process and communicating to each party involved was another huge task on our parts,” said Frederick. The Men’s Club Soccer team became an official club on May 3rd, 2017, and started their season the following fall semester.
“I know for me and the guys getting the club team had its challenges but understanding the process and staying determined was the only thing that will get it done,” said Lang. They had initially shown to SGA that the interest was high with about 30 interested players, yet come tryouts for the team there was nearly 80 players over the 4 day tryouts.
“It was nice to see so many kids want to play, and we know the future for the club will be bright,” said Lang. The team currently has a record of 2-0-2 (W/L/T) and hopes to make the regional competition this October.
“It has been a great experience and we will forever be with Marist…we are all extremely happy to be the founders of the Marist Men’s Soccer Club,” said Criscuolo. “In the future there may be two teams competing for Marist, thats how high the interest is here at Marist,” said Frederick.