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Men’s Soccer Team Celebrates Senior Players

Senior soccer players were recognized at the Oct. 29 game.

Photo credit: Aaron Suozzi

Senior soccer players were recognized at the Oct. 29 game.
Written by: Communicator StaffNovember 10, 2016

Fort Wayne men’s soccer seniors have had their ups and downs.

The team’s most recent up was their Oct. 29 win against the IUPUI Jaguars.

The team won three to two with an overtime goal made by a team effort between sophomore Matthew Lieshout and junior Cam Sinclair.

This victory also happened to fall on Senior Night, where fellow players and fans celebrated the senior athletes.

Before the match, Spencer Brown, Stephen Danielian, Thilo Körperich, Raphael Kotzock and Jacob Murphy were recognized in a special ceremony.

Players took the field with their coaches and families, and were honored for their accomplishments. Each senior was then awarded with their numbers on framed jerseys.

When most of the seniors started at IPFW four years ago, their record was just one in 17 with a nine percent win rate. But now, as they’re getting ready to trade in their cleats and jerseys for caps and gowns, they have found success.

The team finished the current season with nine wins and a fifty percent win rate.

“I have seen my fellow seniors lead this team on and off the field to help create a real desire to win,” midfielder Spencer Brown said in an email. “Now in our senior year, we broke the school’s Division 1 single season wins record.”

The victory over IUPUI set a new school record for single-season wins during the NCAA Division I era.

Unfortunately, the Mastodons did not fare as well Nov. 5 at Western Illinois. The team lost one to four to the Bulldogs and lost their spot in the Summit League Tournament.

This means that the senior soccer athletes’ season is now over, but that does not mean soccer is not in their future plans.

Brown said he wants to start coaching youth soccer after his graduation. He has a desire to help children discover the same love for soccer as he did. Brown also wants to teach them some of the same virtues he has learned, such as teamwork, self-confidence and determination to reach their goals.

In addition to excelling in soccer, the athletes are all on track to earn an IPFW degree soon.

Korperich earned a degree in Economics in the summer of 2016 and is currently pursuing his MBA.

Brown will graduate in the fall of 2016 with a degree in General Studies and a minor in Communications.

Murphy will graduate in the fall of 2017 with a degree in General Studies.

Danielian will graduate in the spring of 2017 with a degree in Visual Communications and design with a concentration in Graphic Design.

Kotzock will graduate in the spring of 2018 with his MBA.

The team’s commitment to graduate is largely influenced by the coaching staff, Brown said.

He said the coaches check with the players to ensure they are passing their classes and staying on track academically. They also ensure the players are making health-conscious decisions  in order to stay alert both on the field and in the classroom.

“My time playing for the Mastodons has been a great experience,” Brown said in his email. “It has been quite amazing to be a part of this team, and especially this senior class.”