Men’s Club Soccer Team Petitions for more Funding

Sequoia Cumming, Editor In Chief

For those who have visited Pace’s campus in the past week, chances are they came across a few young men with clipboards, asking for signatures. These young men are athletes on the Pace men’s club soccer team, and they have a vision of a new upgrade to their program.

While Pace does have a NCAA D-II women’s soccer team, they lack a men’s one. The men’s club program has 25 players who have dedicated their time to a non-divisional league. They participate in practices two hours a night (usually 9 -11 p.m.) five days a week. The team plays their home games in Pace Stadium, while there away games are about a two-hour bus ride away and require proper transportation.

As the petition makes its way around campus, some of the student body is hearing about this team for the first time.

Shaunek Choudary, who plays right defense, never planned to play D-II soccer during his college career, but now with talk about an upgrade to the Pace men’s club soccer team, he feels more dedicated than ever before.

“We need more funds, and we need more people to want these funds,” said Choudary. “We need to pay for busses, for referees, and we need that money soon.”

As a freshman student-athlete, Choudhary believes the program needs major renovations before the next class of athletes arrive in the fall.

“When the new kids come in, we want to have enough money to be able to give them new jerseys and equipment, and we want to be able to pay for our coach,” he said.

The petition not only calls for significantly more funding, but also NCAA recognition. Some on the team wish that they could compete on a higher level, and support the idea of having D-II status. To some, playing soccer at Pace may seem like a waste of time because of the lack of recognition. But for others like Choudhary, the decision made by the petition won’t get in the way of their love for the sport.

“I’ve played soccer basically since I started walking, so for me soccer is something I find peace in,” he states. “No matter what, I won’t stop playing, but that doesn’t mean we’ll stop fighting for this.”