It’s certainly a unique way to break the ice between incoming freshmen and the faculty at Shippensburg University. A just for fun soccer match.
Or, as PA announcer Stephanie Jirard, a Criminal Justice professor, put it: “The geriatric ward against the new generation!”
The game has become a tradition at SU, organized seven years ago by the school’s chapter of the Association of Pennsylvania State College and University Faculties.
Human Communications Studies Professor Dr. Kara Laskowski, public relations chair of APSCUF, said the game is a great way for new students to get to know their future instructors.
“In a game like this, the freshmen get to see the faculty more as people out here on the field,” said Laskowski. “A chance to push and shove a bit. Something they might like to do two or three months from now when we get to mid terms.”
Throughout the evening, freshmen players, who were meeting each other for the first time, were rotated in and out of the game.
History professor Dr. Katie Clay was the freshmen team coach.
“They like to be able to beat out the professors on the field,” said Clay. “That’s really fun for them. And it happens a lot.”
Faculty team coach Pablo Delis said everyone plays hard,but the final score is secondary.
“We like to win, but it doesn’t matter,” said the biology professor. “After the game we have a great time and we’re friends.”
Enthusiastic cheering sections kept energy levels high for both sides, aided by colorful commentary from the announcer’s booth.
Physics major John Murray joked that beating the professors might help later in the year when grading is an issue. The faculty team trailed most of the game, but came back to win 4 to 2.
After the game, a freshmen summed up the evening.
“We had lots of energy and we had a great crowd,” he said. “We had a blast!”