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The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

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Intramural soccer team enters 4th year of playing together

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TAMU United, a coed 8v8 outdoor soccer team, is playing in their seventh season together. 

After four years together, one team with a strong tradition of friendship and family competes in what could be their last season ever.
TAMU United, a coed 8 v. 8 outdoor soccer team, is entering its seventh semester of intramurals this spring. This is the last semester for many of the team’s senior players, including the player who started it all.
Since starting the team in the fall of his freshman year, Jonathan Alvarez, captain of TAMU United, said he has led them to the semi-finals three times, but has never come out with a win.
“A lot of us are graduating seniors and a goal that we all know, and that I feel like is a more unison goal between all of us, is to make it to the final and win before we graduate,” Alvarez said.
Alvarez first got the idea to start the team from his DG dad, or discussion group counselor, at Fish Camp and then recruited friends he met that semester who played soccer in high school. He said the team’s name was a combination of the university and his favorite professional team.
“I came up with the name because we are at Texas A&M University, but United comes from my favorite soccer team, Manchester United,” Alvarez said.
Junior Axel Elias, the team’s goalkeeper, said the team is doing well this season. The team is 3-0 so far. Elias said they’re playing so well partly due to the same players having been together for a while now.
“We usually start off pretty good, but I think there’s something about this semester that makes it a little different,” Elias said. “I think because … we have that base through most of the games and then we have a few other new people that are actually really good. So, I think we are going to do pretty good. I mean, we already are.”
One team tradition in place since the very first game, Alvarez said, has been to take a picture after every match whether they win or lose.
“It’s really cool to see all of us grow, and the team — the new members that come and go and who stayed and how we were so little,” Alvarez said. “We were 18 years old and now I’m 22.”
Having spent many semesters together, the players have become not only teammates, but friends, the team’s right midfielder Jacqueline Silva said. She said these friendships have also helped on the field.
“I think we’ve been playing really well,” Silva said. “Since we all know each other, the chemistry is already there. At first it was kind of rough with getting to know each other, but right now, we are playing the best we’ve ever played.”
It was her older sister who Gabriela Ayala said was already friends with Alvarez, and she connected with the team through them.
“We typically all go out to eat together, maybe even individually, and it’s who we spend our weekends with,” Ayala said.
Center defensive midfielder Carlos Chavez is entering his fourth semester with this team and said a personal goal for himself this season is to make sure everyone else is enjoying the game.
“I’m not really a goal scorer, I just really like to enjoy the game, pass the ball, you know, just make sure that everybody gets their playing time and we win,” Chavez said.
With many seniors graduating in May, it is unknown if the team will continue in the fall, but several players said they hope the team plays on.
“There’s still younger people, and we can just keep adding new people,” Silva said. “I still want to continue playing because it kind of helps me keep going. School is kind of stressful, so it’s nice being back on the field even though it’s not a professional level and to just have fun.”
TAMU United plays its fourth and final game of the regular season on March 23 at 9:45 p.m. at Penberthy field 11B against the team, Cleats and Teets.

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