Forest’s Fast Take: Intramural Soccer
Issue   |   Tue, 04/25/2017 - 22:46

The transition from April to May marks the end of several calendars. Our school year is wrapping up, the NHL and NBA seasons are peaking with playoff action and the European soccer leagues are nearing their ends. However, in the wake of all this “ending,” there is a new beginning. Yes, the Amherst College intramural soccer season is on our doorstep, ready to take the campus by brief and jam-packed storm.

This season already presents a red-hot flame that’s sure to endure the two weeks of tournament play. In most seasons, teams play each other in the form of a regular season to determine seeding going into the always-intense playoffs. This spring, cramped by severe time restraints, the games have taken on an entirely different form.

In the spirit of the Russia 2018 World Cup and its prequel, the 2017 Confederations Cup, the league will adopt the classic World Cup format. This structure will have teams facing off in small groups of four in a round robin format.

Teams will play every team in their group once and, when all the dust is settled, the top two teams in each group will move on to the elimination rounds and make a push for the cup.

A mixed bag of teams has entered the fold. Ten are signed up for the tournament, which outnumbers last season’s team count. With the larger field, the opportunities are endless.

With seven players per side, some of Amherst’s brightest talents will be bounding about Gooding Field, playing their part toward an IM Championship Title.

The defending champions Chap Haus will be returning most of their title-winning side. Team captain Adam Ellison ’17 is looking forward to extending their reign to the World Cup format.

There’s definitely an air of confidence around the squad based out of Chapman, and the team looks poised to fulfill on these sentiments.

So opponents would not become confused, the next team goes by the name “Our Team.” These hockey women are taking the gloves off and exchanging their blades for studs.

The lethal three-headed monster of Alex Toupal ’18, Jamie McNamara ’19 and Eliza Laycock ’20 will without doubt be chomping the competition. With a supporting cast worthy of an Oscar, these nasty women are ready to take on any group with the gusto of a thousand suns.

The next squad, hailing from across Route Nine, is Turnt Cohan. The Cohan dorm is making a strong push for Amherst dominance and not being shy about it.

As the only co-ed group in the tournament, Turnt Cohan should boast an unbreakable chemistry between the white lines and a nasty defense to boot.

Paul Walker FC pays homage to one of our many lost heroes and his amazing driving skills. This team is fast all across the board. What they may lack in foot skills, they make up in foot speed. Starting striker Nick Widen ’17 has promised reporters, teammates and his mom that he’ll bag at least ten goals in the tournament.

To put that in perspective, the most goals in a single tournament since Widen’s birth was eight, courtesy of Brazil’s Ronaldo back in 2002. Widen may not have to deliver on his promise to win the cup, though his mother will be disappointed no doubt.

Comprised entirely of first years, the Floss Goblins will be making their first-ever appearance on Gooding Field. While the tournament features mostly upperclassmen rich in experience and alopecia, the Goblins’ young and nubile energy may just be their saving grace.

Hopefully, team leaders Jesus Garcia ’20 and Patrick Friend ’20 will channel this energy into productive play. A true wildcard, the Floss Goblins. Expect the unexpected.

In contrast to inexperience are the vetted Sharkslayers. A team of 15 players, the Sharkslayers is by far the tournament’s largest squad. They also have years of team experience. One of the most unwavering, unchanging rosters in the league, these aquatic assassins may go even further than they did in seasons past. The combination of their dynamic interplay in the attacking third and their stalwart back line places the Sharkslayers in the top half of the table.

Grounds crew beware, Mohamed Hussein ’18 may just paint every corner of the field with his bottomless energy. As fans, hope for team captain Takudzwa Tapfuma ’17 to score. He may just reward us with one of his backflip celebrations.

Splish splash, Nick Nichols was taking a bath. No, I’m not referring to the swim and dive head coach. Well, in a way, I am. The Amherst swim and dive team named their squad after their coach, Nick Nichols. No reports as to whether Nichols will also be at the helm of the soccer side, but you can imagine he’ll be there in spirit regardless.

While team captain Zoe Pappas ’19 has asserted that her disciplinary days are behind her, she may just cost her team vital points if she gets sent off again. Even if they do go down a player, teams will have a difficult time getting past the brick wall center-back duo of Stephanie Moriarty ’18 and Marie Maxwell ’18.

Sophomores unite! The Waka Flocka Last Season was a Flukes, abbreviated to WFLSWAF, are chock-full of talent. The Amherst Student’s very own Nate Quigley ’19 is rostered and looking to publish some peachy crosses from the wide areas.
The team’s leader and prophet, as the name suggests, is none other than Sir Waka Flocka Flame. I’m sure WFLSWAF will carry Waka’s teachings onto the pitch, rendering them a force in the league.

Coming fresh off a National Championship, Prestige Worldwide enters the competition on a high note. The Amherst women’s basketball team shocked the world when they announced their retirement from collegiate basketball to pursue a career in intramural soccer. This group knows how to win games, so be ready for more of that.

The tenth and final team barely got in before registration closed. The Good Brothers just squeezed by their regional qualifier, which allowed them entrance to the big dance.

Sometimes a narrow victory can carry momentum over, which is tough to combat. By this, I mean of course that they signed up minutes before the deadline.

These hockey fellas will bring tons of energy to the pitch and should be able to adjust to the scruff surface, well different than what they’re used to.

Tyler Granara ’17 and Thomas Lindstrom ’17 will chase down just about anything and are sure to set a high line of pressure that may just discombobulate their opponents into defeat.

All of these teams will strut their stuff in front of setting summer suns on Gooding Field. Don’t be shy.

Come down on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Sundays to see some fireworks. Food and snacks will not be provided.