Established 1874.

The Oberlin Review

Established 1874.

The Oberlin Review

Established 1874.

The Oberlin Review

Black Student Athlete Group, Club Soccer, YeoFit Host Soccer Tournament

This past Saturday, the Black Student Athlete Group, along with Oberlin Club Soccer and YeoFit, hosted a soccer tournament on Bailey Field. The matchup consisted of 9–10 players on each team and eight teams total, which included Koby’s BFFs, Him, Tacha’s Team, Nut Jacks, Amandla, Tinta’s Warriors, Flying Delta, and The Captains.

The first and second round games were played with mini goals and no goalkeepers. However, for the third and final round, teams played with regular soccer goals and goalkeepers. Each game was around 30–45 minutes long. The referees for the tournament were third-year Zoe Garver and fourth-year Brynn Adams, who are both women’s soccer players and recent All-NCAC honorees.

College third-year Olivia Gonzalez is on the club soccer team and played in the tournament. Her team — Koby’s BFFs, named after third-year Koby Mbonu — was a mix of College students, varsity soccer players, and members of other varsity teams.

“I had a great time at the tournament!” Gonzalez wrote in an email to the Review. “It was awesome for BSAG to organize this event, and I’m really proud of the turnout and success!! I was on Koby’s BFFs and despite our early elimination to Him (which actually featured a lot of my club soccer friends), we still had a blast.”

Gonzalez joined club soccer at the end of her first year, and though she believes she still has a long way to go in improving her game, it has given her an opportunity to practice a sport she loves.

“It was definitely daunting to join the club at first because I hadn’t played since middle school,” Gonzalez wrote. “However, we have practices 4–5 times a week, and slowly I’ve improved!”

These days, Gonzalez serves on the club soccer leadership committee team, which helped with the organization of the soccer tournament.

“BSAG invited me to one of their meetings to discuss logistics for the event and to run some ideas by club soccer regarding game timing, promotion, and rules,” Gonzalez wrote. “But I credit the majority of the event planning and success of the event to BSAG!”

Mbonu, who is co-chair of BSAG and on the men’s soccer team, served as one of the main organizers for this event.

“BSAG wanted to create another sports tournament for the Oberlin community and decided a soccer tournament would be the best idea,” Mbonu wrote in an email to the Review. “We partnered with Club Soccer and Yeofit (who were great to work with) and had an amazing time.”

Mbonu reached out to the club soccer team because it would guarantee players for the tournament. He also reached out to YeoFit since they would provide resources for the event, such as hoodies and frisbees for raffles and food and beverages.

“We haven’t hosted anything in the past with either organization, but will definitely be doing this tournament next year so we’ll be sure to reach out again,” Mbonu wrote. “In addition, the athletic and non-athletic community don’t cross over too much at Oberlin so it gave us a chance to do that as well.”

Only one team could win it all, and that was Tacha’s Team. Tacha Lee, a third-year on the women’s soccer team, thought that it would be fun to put a team together. It was composed of all varsity soccer members from the men’s and women’s teams.

“The tournament was really fun!” Lee wrote in an email to the Review. “It was nice seeing a bunch of people play soccer together. Winning was also great but it was more fun to just hang out with my friends and kick the ball around.”

Third-year Samantha Gilfond, who is on the women’s soccer team, played on the winning team.

“It was nice getting a chance to play with my teammates again after our season ended and also play alongside the men’s team,” Gilfond wrote in an email to the Review. “I thought it was a great way to spark friendly competition and meet new people. I love playing soccer and I am very competitive so it was a great way to support BSAG and leverage my competitiveness.”

When asked how the tournament was compared to a Division III in-season soccer match, Lee commented on the light-heartedness of the game.

“It definitely was a lot more relaxed than varsity soccer and I could just kinda enjoy myself while playing soccer more casually with others,” Lee wrote.

Gilfond noted the similarities and differences between this game and varsity games.

“It was super different, especially when we were competing against teams that were not made up of majority soccer athletes,” Gilfond wrote. “In the final game both teams were made up of mostly varsity soccer players which made the level of play pretty high.”

Mbonu, who also played on Tacha’s Team, had similar remarks to Lee and Gilfond.

“It was great playing in the tournament,” Mbonu wrote. “All around, I believed everyone had a great time though. It doesn’t really compare to DIII soccer at all because a lot of people playing weren’t currently training athletes, but the competition level was still high and I hope it will keep the same standard for next year.”

More to Discover