North Texas Daily

Indoor soccer community thrives at rec center

Indoor soccer community thrives at rec center

Indoor soccer community thrives at rec center
October 08
10:19 2013

Ehsan Azad / Staff Writer

The Pohl Recreation Center is a great place to play a game of pick-up basketball or lift weights. But fewer people know that on the far side of the basketball courts is the indoor soccer court where groups of soccer fans come in to play their favorite sport.

“It’s not something you see very often,” criminal justice freshman Dennys Andrade said. “I actually visited other colleges before I came to UNT and this was something so new to me.”

Andrade, now a regular attendee, said he was surprised to learn it was an actual court dedicated to soccer that didn’t have to be shared with other sports.

Five players make up a typical team, with one playing goalie. The first team to two goals wins, and another team joins the court next. Walls surround the small court and the goal is much smaller than outdoor soccer, as is the ball.

“Usually in the evenings when classes are over you will see more people start coming in and playing pick-up games,” said Tim Aust, staff coordinator at the Pohl Recreation Center.

The soccer court usually averages 30 people a day and is most popular about 6 p.m. It is the most popular facility of the recreation center behind the basketball courts and weight room.

The game is especially popular with students of international backgrounds, creating a multi-cultural environment and helping forge friendships through the competition.

“I met this one kid, Mohammad, from Saudi Arabia,” mechanical engineering senior David Pecina said. “There are other people from places like Columbia and one girl who comes over is from Korea.”

Physics junior Cat Tran is an international student from Vietnam with a love for soccer. He said he appreciates that the indoor court can’t be shut down in bad weather.

“I am more of an outside soccer player, but because I have class near the center I figured I can come and play here as well,” Tran said. “It’s like a mini-World Cup here.”

Tran said he has played since middle school because it’s a good way to stay in shape and have fun. He said the only thing the recreation staff could do to improve the experience is to install artificial turf, allowing the players to wear cleats.

Aust said there have been discussions to expand the soccer gym to where the volleyball courts are, but without much space around the court, no plans have been made.

The court has the same hours as the recreation center and soccer balls can be checked out at the front desk.

Regardless of what happens, soccer fans will continue to flock to the indoor soccer court and bond over the love of the game.

Criminal justice freshman Dennys Andrade shoots the ball during a pick-up game at indoor soccer gym inside the Pohl RecreationCenter. Andrade said he plays at the Pohl Recreation Center almost every day around 6 p.m. Feature photo by Edward Balusek / Staff Photographer 

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