Joint Base Andrews West Fitness Center staff and 744th Communications Squadron’s athletes had different reasons to be elated at the conclusion of the 2013 Joint Base Andrews Soccer Championship.
The WFC staff celebrated a successful, inaugural Intramural Soccer season, while the 744 CS team basked in the glory of defeating the 779th Medical Support Squadron Aug. 22 after a strategic defensive game, winning 1 to 0 in overtime on a new, Artificial grass field that doubles as a football field.
After a hard-fought battle between the season’s two best teams, the experienced footwork of 744 CS’ Miguel Urbina kicked past Christian Owen, 779th Medical Supply Squadron goalie, for the only point of the game.
Casey Lipe, 744 CS player coach, appreciated Urbina’s concise play in making the winning goal and Jamaal Dennis, team keeper, for key defensive plays against the 779 MDSS team.
However, Lipe quickly praised the efforts of all his team members.
“It was a team effort; everyone played their position well and the crowd got behind us and that really helped a lot, because we couldn’t have done it without their support,” said Lipe. “We have the best fans.”
Being the first base soccer champs, Lipe noted, “we plan on doing a repeat next year.”
Urbina, the teams’ shining star, praised both his teammates and the opposition.
“I’m blessed to have scored the only goal of the game, but I couldn’t have done it without being part of such a great team.” said Urbina. “The 779th Medical Support Squadron played a great game. They maintained the ball and shut us down; they knew our key players. They did a good job, but luckily I got through to make the goal. This was really fun. I hope that intramural soccer continues. I loved it,” said Urbina.
Despite fitness center hour and staff reductions due to military sequestration furloughs, the WFC staff managed the Intramural Softball season while simultaneously sponsoring a much-anticipated soccer program.
Staff Sgt. Ashley Wolfe, WFC recreation assistant, said eager participants put together their own version of a soccer uniform and starting practicing on their own.
“When I was told that we had money for intramural soccer, I volunteered to head up the organization,” said Wolfe. “I began to talk to as many people as I could and explained to them the process of how intramural sports work, and from there they began to build teams within their squadrons.”
Excited by interest among friends at different squadrons, Wolfe zealously pursued signatures for letters of intent to present to the Wing commander. “We finally got the go-ahead with 12 teams,” said Wolfe.
“The moment I received approval to support an Intramural Soccer program I began making calls,” said Subhaker Satyanarayan, Joint Base Andrews fitness and sports director. “We did not know if soccer was going to get off the ground due to funding, but from money saved from Intramural Basketball we were able to get it going. This first season really went well. We thought we would have only 5 or 6 teams, but ended up with 12.”
Wolfe and Satyanarayan realized the challenges of the soccer season, launched while two other intramural sports were going on, made it a very busy time for the staff. However, the WFC staff looks forward to making next year’s soccer season even better.
In a final email, Wolfe congratulated the 744 CS for winning the first official title as the 2013 Intramural Soccer Base Champions. “They came on top over 779 MDSS A with a final match score of 1-0 in overtime. I also want to recognize 779 MDSS A for coming in second place for the title of Base Runner-Up,” said Wolfe. “It’s been a great season and a great turnout. I appreciate all the coaches and players for their participation and support of our intramural program. I hope to see each of you next year. Thank you all for making the first soccer season a success!”