Team struggles in games, finances

By By Corbin Godfrey

By Corbin Godfrey

The men’s soccer team participated in the National Intramural-Recreational Sports Association tournament in Boise during Halloween weekend, and the results were spooky.

Although the team went into the tournament as the No. 2 seed, it came home with three ties, one loss and no goals scored.

“It was hard to understand how and why we struggled that much,” said head coach Gilbert Gaertner Jr.

To the Utes’ credit, the weekend seemed doomed from the beginning. The team was only able to travel with 17 players, since it didn’t have money for all 26 to travel. Each player paid part of the expense, and the remaining bill was covered by the coaches and the club presidency.

\Gaertner Jr. said he was proud of his players and their sacrifices and ability to compete while battling financial hardship for the team at the same time.

The Utes tied their first three matches8212;first against Salt Lake Community College, second against Boise State and the third against Central Washington, all by a score of 0-0.

Leading scorer Gil Gaertner III and teammate Billy Roome were unable to play in the fourth game because of injuries. The Utes lost the match by a score of 0-2 to Utah Valley University.

Gaertner Jr. said he was not disappointed in his team. His only disappointment was8212;once again8212;seeing how much other schools provide for their club sports, and how little the U provides in comparison.

“For this program to continue and to have success, the team needs more support from the school,” Gaertner Jr. said. “A proposal will be sent (to the U) to have the men’s soccer program sponsored with the same philosophy that others school have adopted.”

Gaertner Jr. said he hopes for the school to match all funds that the club organizations can raise, which is the same financial structure many other universities use for club sports.

“With this same financial setup, Weber State has been a successful program for 10 years, clinching the nationals three times,” Gaertner Jr. said.

BYU used this system to move from six consecutive national champions as a club team to a powerhouse soccer team in the Premier Development League, which is a semi-professional league.

“We have demonstrated that we can compete at those levels,” Gaertner Jr. said. “The talent is here, and we have the respect of others’ schools. For 2010, we will need to find a solution to provide more and get better results. The men’s soccer team has two coaches, one trainer and one media-web specialist that all donate their time and talents free of charge, but it is not enough.”

The men’s soccer team finished the regular season with a record of 8-2-2, and were 8-1-1 in NIRSA competition.

The team plans to have a banquet at the end of the month, then regroup in April for a U Invitational Tournament and clinics in June.

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