September 16, 2019
By Khun Nyan Min Htet
WASHINGTON, D.C. — As DC SAISers return to school, the SAIS Soccer Club–one of the few purely recreational clubs on the DC campus–begins a new season.
“Clubs tend to be themed towards what we are here for at SAIS: career development and/or specific areas of studies,” said Lindsay Jagla, one of the club’s co-captains. “SAIS Soccer is one of those activities that is purely for fun and recreation.”
Students may join the club for the soccer, but stay for the social aspect.
“I thought it was a great way to not only exercise but also to meet other people. It’s an easy way to integrate with students from other campuses, like Bologna or Nanjing,” said Caroline Miranda, a second-year student who joined last fall.
“It is a good competitive outlet from being in the classroom all the time,” said Emily Ing, a second-year Bologna student. “Just having a different social scene is good.”
This fall, in response to increasing interest among students, the club organized two coed teams for the 9v9 District Sports league. The teams consist of first and second-year students from all SAIS campuses and are organized based on respective competitiveness of the league.
We have a Saturday team that plays in the D3 League. It’s less competitive than the Sunday Team that plays in the D2 League,” said Chris Merriman, another co-captain.
According to Lindsay Jagla, the club has recently seen an increase in female participants.
“I think [having a female co-captain] just makes it more obvious that women play. They see me and they see that one of the captains is a woman,” Lindsay explained. “So obviously, there are women on the team and they should be playing. They can play and they are welcome to play. I know sometimes joining a predominantly male sports league can be intimidating. So, it was a good step. We will continue to make sure everyone is aware that it’s coed and everyone is welcome.”
The option to play in two different leagues allows students to choose their level of competition. The majority of the members of the club have played in high school and/or college. Joining the club also provides an opportunity for students to take a breather from studies and professional development.
“For me, I’m at my happiest when I’m on the field,” said Andrew Pince, a first-year student. “I think a lot of people live for those moments where they can just forget everything else. They do that in many different forms…reading, working out, meditating…For me, soccer is that thing.”
Currently, the club is coordinating its semesterly game with the Georgetown University School of Foreign Service.
“The Georgetown game is probably going to be in late October or early November. I just spoke with their captain and he is in the process of booking a field,” said Chris Merriman.
SAIS Soccer is also planning to organize friendly matches with the American University School of International Service and the George Washington University Elliot School. Further, the club is planning to add more social events to the calendar. In the works are a happy hour and soccer match screening. While participation in the weekly league games is limited to members only, invitations to social events are open to the entire SAIS community.
For more information on how to get involved with the SAIS Soccer Club, contact Lindsay Jagla (firstname.lastname@example.org) or Chris Merriman (email@example.com).