Diehl ’18: A tribute to my intramural soccer team

Sports Columnist
Friday, November 20, 2015

Last year, our team’s formation started out in a curious way when our original founder went down with a torn ACL before the season started. Two weeks earlier, I poached club soccer tryouts with him for some talent to add to the team. He had a few people interested, but with his torn ACL went many of the people who were originally signed up on the team with us. So he delegated the rest of the recruitment to me and a couple other people, and we attempted to put together a last-minute soccer team. After careful deliberation, we put our Ivy League minds to use and  settled on the name “Squad” for our team.

Our first game involved an interesting mix of people I didn’t know at all and people from my floor (shout out to Everett House third floor), most of whom I had gotten to know pretty well. Half of the team was from Metcalf Hall — on the other side of campus — and we played like we didn’t know each other. After some awkward goodbyes, the team split in two when heading back home from the match.

We gained two people from the Keeney side of campus and lost three from Metcalf. Over the next few games, these numbers became more and more skewed until we had only one person from Metcalf left. As our play improved, I got to know the people on our team better, as we sometimes grabbed dinner after the games.

Pretty soon, these loosely affiliated teammates of mine became genuine friends, and we began to jokingly hype up our lowly intramural team to the rest of our friends in Keeney. I started going out with everyone on the team, and we even hosted an informal “Squad pregame” by the end of the season. And before I knew it, I was in the playoffs not just with some random soccer team, but also with my friends.

Though we lacked skill as a unit, we were relatively athletic and actually cared a little bit. These traits got us through the opening playoff match against an opponent who was ranked much higher than us and had beaten us earlier in the year. Our next game was also tightly contested, but we wound up on the right side of things, just as we’d managed to do all season.

Due to people having midterms (damn you, midterm gods!), we suited up a man short in our semi-final game. It was a night game and absolutely freezing, but our spirits were high. And we battled hard. Their goalie was a wall of Irish mass, and it was impossible to score. A few bounces didn’t go our way, and we walked out with a 1-0 loss.

Over the course of the year, almost every single person on that team became a friend, and most became good friends. Some of my greatest friends at Brown came from Squad — whether I met them for the first time on the field or whether I furthered my existing friendships through our battles on the pitch.

To those of you who haven’t tried an intramural sport yet: Try one! If you’re worried about lacking any athletic ability whatsoever, there’s always inner tube water polo. No matter what sport you do, you’ll never know if your goofy teammates wind up visiting you to ski over winter break.

Personal apology to my teammates and advice to the general public: I’m sorry for kicking the heel of Ian’s boot; it was a lot harder than I anticipated. We’ll get ’em next year.

Joe Diehl ’18 stays on his feet about as well as a puppy trying to grab a treat on its hind legs. Send him advice on how to balance at


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