Men’s intramural soccer nears playoffs

Head over to one of the intramural fields for a soccer game on a Tuesday evening and see that intramural sports are much more than just glorified pick-up games. The competing athletes take intramural sports very seriously.

Sure, the players may not possess the same soccer skill that one might see at Lakeside Field for a Panthers soccer game, but the action is just as intense and the players play just as hard.

With the intramural soccer season underway, some teams are already looking towards the playoffs.

To become playoff eligible, a team must have at least a .500 record and have an average sportsmanship rating of above a 2.75.

Sportsmanship ratings are graded on a scale of one to four by the officiating referees.

Teams are graded on their cooperation with officials and the opposing team, and the team captain’s control of his or her team and spectators.

One team that is looking to become playoff eligible is Sigma Nu Gold.

After a 1-0 win over Rural King FC, who had to forfeit the game, Sigma Nu Gold has a team record of 3-1.

Two players on the Sigma Nu Gold team are freshmen Kyle Wathen and Chase Kelley.

Together Wathen and Kelley are known on the team and around the Eastern campus as “Pancakes and Waffles”.

The two have used their chemistry together as friends and players to help Sigma Nu Gold to its winning record.

Wathen, who got his nickname “Waffles” as an elementary school student as a play on his last name, likes Sigma Nu Gold’s chances coming into the playoffs.

“I feel pretty good about our team’s chances in the playoffs,” Wathen said. “I really think we can go all the way to the finals and win it. I just want to be as big of a help as I can to the team.”

Wathen said that the team is stacked at all positions, with the help of Sigma Nu team captain Casey Gronbech, midfielder Sean Martini, goalie Kevin Cantu and defenseman Vaughn Drozd.

Also, Wathen said his previous experience as a soccer player at Rich East High School in Park Forest led him to want to play intramural soccer at Eastern.

Wathen said intramural soccer is a great way to meet new people and make friends. Also, he said it’s a great way for others to come, watch and enjoy a soccer match on a weekday evening.

Chase Kelley, who decided to nickname himself “Pancakes” after commonly being confused by others for Wathen because of their physical likeness, received a red card in the previous game for slide tackling another player.

According to intramural soccer league rules, slide tackles are not allowed.

Kelley was given a red card and was required to sit out the next game.

Lucky for Kelley, the next game was a forfeit, resulting in a win for his team. Kelley said he got so caught up in the heat of the moment that he forgot the intramural rule.

The red card resulted in Kelley’s ejection from the game, which also resulted in a low sportsmanship rating for Sigma Nu Gold.

Other scores from Tuesday’s intramural soccer action are as follows:

The Green Machines defeated Killer Swag, 6-1. Kappa Delta and Sigma Kappa tied, 0-0. Raw Dogs defeated Child Please, 3-1. Lambda Chi Gold defeated Monster Trucks, 6-0. Edge defeated Pike Gold, 4-3. The Delts defeated Sigma Pi Gold 2-0.

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