It’s 9:30 p.m. on a cold night at Griswold field. Usually, by this time, the floodlights would have turned off, instead, they illuminate the turf that has been transformed into three separate soccer fields. On the furthest field, Pablo Osuna ’18 breaks free down the left-hand side. Putting a low cross into the box, the ball ricochets off an unexpecting defenders shin and into the open goal. Osuna sprints to the other side of the field and celebrates in front of his teammates like he just won the world cup.
The joy on display has become commonplace for those at Lewis & Clark’s co-ed intramural soccer league. Taking place at Griswold field every Wednesday and Sunday night from February to March, the league offers LC students a unique combination of high-level competition in a fun and laid back environment.
“I look forward to intramurals all year long,” Oscar Chavez ’18 explained. “You get to go back to when you were a kid. Playing soccer in the streets with your friends.”
The soccer league this year consisted of 10 teams which were broken into two five-team divisions. Competing within their division, the four teams with the best records after four games advance to a knockout style tournament. The games themselves are played seven versus seven with a much smaller pitch than the standard size. Two 20 minute halves are broken apart by a short five-minute halftime.
Despite the formal rules, what attracts many LC students is the opportunity to play against your friends. Most importantly, to beat them and never let them forget it.
“If you win on Sunday, you get to talk crap until Wednesday,” Pablo Osuna ’18 explained. “If you win on Wednesday, you get to talk crap until Sunday. It’s is a beautiful and vicious cycle.”
This year’s intramural season came down to a final between two undefeated teams, known respectively as Los Chapos and Sporting Harambarry. Down 3-2 with seven minutes remaining, Los Chapos pulled off an epic comeback. Los Chapos were spurred by two goals from Josh Cavanaugh ’17 and one goal from Chavez, earning a 5-3 victory. While the final was hotly contested, and featured many tense moments, it is the light-hearted nature of the contests that keeps players coming back.
“I love the comradery with my teammates,” Brendan Barrows ’18 explained. “The games are relaxed and you can try things you normally wouldn’t try in a real game.”
Barrows isn’t kidding either. While playing goalkeeper, he would routinely dribble out and take shots from nearly the full length of the pitch.
“I didn’t score any goals, but I got a couple shots on target,” said Barrows.
While most of the participants don’t take it too seriously, some may go in the opposite direction.
“The biggest thing at intramurals is the rock paper scissors with the captains,” argued Osuna. “Whoever wins gets to decide who wears the smelly pennies.”
Osuna would like everyone know that he was undefeated.