In the Locker Room with Andrew Wise and Aki Gormezano

The Review sat down with Aki Gormezano and Andrew Wise, two of six seniors on the men’s soccer team. Gormezano, an East Asian studies major, and Wise, a musical studies major, have helped lead their team to a current record of 7–3–1. In the interview, they discussed the uniqueness of their teammates, favorite soccer memories and their dances to “Everytime We Touch.”

Phoebe Hammer, Sports Editor

Why did you decide to play soccer at Oberlin?

Andrew Wise: I knew I wanted to play soccer, and I got an e-mail from the assistant coach. It was the first time I had ever heard of Oberlin. I visited and liked it better than University of Chicago, so I ended up here.

Aki Gormezano: The coaches came and saw me play at a tournament after my club coaches talked to Blake. Actually, [Head Coach] Blake [New] gives me a hard time about this, but I couldn’t decide between Oberlin and Vassar. I initially picked Oberlin, then flipped after the deadline to Vassar, then flipped back to Oberlin real last minute.

How do you think your team is different than other athletic teams?

AG: That’s tough… We get really weird.

AW: [Laughs] Yeah, we do get weird.

AG: Historically, the soccer team blends in really well with Oberlin’s campus and culture. It’s always felt to me that we have pretty silly dudes on our team that love to goof around. In terms of the reason that our team works well is that we have a disciplined schedule, but we also have freedom to integrate ourselves with the rest of campus too. We have a lot of friends outside the team. Like Andrew, he brings in around 20 friends to our games, and they have a banner of his face that has his number on it.

Do you like it or is it embarrassing?

AW: I like it.

What are some weird things that you guys do?

AG: Can we strike anything from the record? Do you want to know what actually goes on in the locker room?

AW: Well, one is that we have this tradition of blasting “Everytime We Touch” on the speakers and scream with it basically.

AG: And then get naked and rowdy.

To go back to a more serious question, how do you think being a senior is different than past years?

AG: For me personally, my critical lens is way sharper. I am not only engaging in practice but I’m also analyzing the way practice is being run. I’m putting myself more in perspective, so I know what the coaches are trying to get out of a drill.

AW: I guess, being a senior, I have three years of experience, [so] I know a lot more about the game. The way I view each situation is so much different than when I was a freshman.

What is different about this season as a whole than previous years?

AW: We bicker a lot less.

AG: True. That said, we finally have a good balance of being critical in a productive way. We all have each other’s best interest.

What is your biggest soccer accomplishment?

AG: Let me brainstorm here… I’d say more as being a captain, over my years here, I have been able to have an impact on our culture, especially in the off-season.

AW: This is going to sound a little arrogant, but my proudest achievement is that I don’t think we would be playing the way we do in our new style without me as an attacking outside-back.

AG: To sum up, we have been part of a class that has changed the culture of how hard we are working and the way we play on the field. We have made it more of a team game.

What is your favorite soccer memory?

AW: In practice one day, [junior goalkeeper] Brandt [Rentel] decided to come out of the goal. Someone gave him a cross, and he went out and did a freaking crazy bicycle kick right into the top corner of the net. Our goalkeeper scored the most beautiful goal I’ve ever seen.

AG: First thing that comes to mind is our sick win over Wabash [College] a couple weeks back. They scored the first goal, then we came back, and then it happened again. Both of our goals were just super ill. Then in overtime [senior] Matt Capozzi had just a beautiful shot right over the keeper’s head.

If you could describe each other in one word, what would it be?

AG: Love.

AW: Knight.