Players from 2005 to 2016 were represented at the Fourth Annual Alumni Soccer Game on Saturday, May 14.
On the men’s side, the current Wartburg Knights were victorious over the alumni with a score of 8-1. On the women’s side, the current team also came out on top with a 2-0 win.
Originally, the game would have taken place in the fall, when soccer was in season. However, the team was cleared to play a game in the spring, when the current team is in the off-season. Head women’s soccer coach Tiffany Pins and head men’s coach Kirk Artist saw it as a fun opportunity to end the current teams’ spring training and start a new tradition with the Wartburg soccer program.
“It give our teams an opportunity to play against some different competition and at the same time bring alumni back and have a celebration and get together between the men’s and the women’s program,” Artist said.
While she said it may be a little rough getting back on the playing field, Pins said the alumni have a lot of fun getting the opportunity to play soccer again.
“Not all of them get the opportunity to play anywhere else now that they are in the real world,” Pins said. “To come back with their old teammates and even individuals that they’ve never played with it’s a really fun day to catch up and see one another.”
Artist said some of the players from the past still identify themselves with the soccer programs.
“For them to come back and play on the field with some of their old friends, as well as the current players, connects generations of players and kind of relives some memories,” Artist said.
Lindsey Boyke was a part of the Wartburg soccer team until she graduated in 2013. She said the alumni soccer game is a day she and her friends- who are also alumni of the soccer team- put on their calendar.
“It brings back past players with current players, mixing across generations,” Boyke said. “It’s fun as an alumni to see where the program is currently at and what the future holds for the team,” she added.
Alyssa Christopher, a current soccer player for the women’s team, said the game is a fun day to get to meet and play with some of the alumni. She said some of them are players she has heard about throughout her career as a Knight.
“Getting to play with the alumni is a great opportunity for our team to test out all of the things that we have been working on in spring practices,” Christopher said.
Both Artist and Pins are Wartburg alumni themselves and said the game is special to them because they get to see the current team interacting with the alumni who paved the way for them.
“Everybody wants to be a part of something that is bigger than themselves and I think the soccer program is that for some of these alums and current players,” Artist said. “To see that all come together in one day is a pretty special thing,” he added.