On Feb 4, the UNCG Men’s club soccer team is back in action against the NC State Wolfpack. The UNCG club soccer team had not lost last season before they were suspended. The club even had marquee wins against larger in state schools such as North Carolina State and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. For a good portion of the fall season, our team was on a roll and was handily dealing with any competition. As they prepare for the spring season, the club’s Vice-President, J.D. Manzo, and the secretary of the team, Yun Kim talked about the past semester, this spring semester, and the future of the club.
First up was the vice president, J.D. Manzo. With Mr. Manzo we discussed the current team composition, strengths, weaknesses, and his role with the team. On the subject of the team, J.D. mentioned that although “we’re a bit rusty right now, but it’s still early, I fully expect that we will come together during weeks two and three.” He went on to say that, “we have games right off the bat but we normally do really well with our first game.” With most of the team returning, he hopes it will be easy to fall back in the rhythm of things. As Vice-President J.D. hopes to use his role to motivate the team as they work on performing together again early in the season.
With a wildly successful fall campaign that ended with the heartbreak of a suspension, there are of course plenty of things the team would want to carry over. J.D. went on the record to say that “we just hope to see the same level of play, we beat a team that went deep in the regionals by a score of 4 to 0 in the fall, we see ourselves right up there with the best of the teams. We believe we have it in us.” J.D. was also asked on what he hopes to do during his tenure as vice president. He responded with the simple answer that his main priority will be to continue to field a competitive team.
Next up in our couplet of interviews was Secretary for the club Yun Kim. First on our series of topics with Yun was what got him involved in the club soccer scene. Mr. Kim responded saying that what really brought him to club soccer was “the strong sense of community” and “how strong the club system is here at UNCG.” Another reason Mr. Kim spoke so highly of the club team here is the fact that UNCG’s club is furnished with coaches when many other schools simply leave that aspect of the game up to students. Yun spoke highly of his experience with the team, he said that it has made his college experience “unforgettable” and he is proud to say he is “still playing soccer at a competitive level after high school.” Never even struggling to balance his academics and soccer Yun had nothing but praise for the club team. Yun “cannot wait until the team is back to the level they were last semester” and spoke highly of the “intensity and previous results of the team” as well.
With a team that has scored victories against such behemoth in-state schools such as UNC and NC State, the team is excited to see what the spring will hold. We look forward to seeing them compete against other large regional schools this spring with matches against Wake Forest, Virginia Tech, and a rematch against NC State. Following this week’s road match against NC State Wolfpack, the next two weeks will see the club team play host UNC Asheville on February 12 on the rec field and NC A&T on February 18 on the North Field. Expect great things moving forward as the team works back into their groove.