So here’s what I love about Fletcher students. They are very committed to their studies and careers. They offer support to undergraduates and they burst into the community and instantly create an organization and resource for students interested in technology. But they are also really fun people, and a frequent autumn rallying point is the Fletcher Fútbol team. Men and women with soccer/fútbol experience jump into their cleats and unite to compete with the teams from other area graduate schools.
When the team is successful, somehow the news even works its way to the staff. Or sometimes it isn’t a mystery how we know. Earlier this week, Colin, a first-year student, put his inner tabloid sportswriter to work with this Social List report on a match against Harvard Law School.
Chemistry may not be a course offered at Fletcher, but the members of Fletcher Fútbol clearly know a little something about it. Coming off a disappointing loss in front of a home crowd to the business suits of Babson College last week, it would have been understandable for Fletcher Fútbol to be plagued with fears about their ability win a game, let alone score more than one goal in a contest. However, buoyed by the enthusiasm that only a graduate school sports rivalry can create, and the camaraderie that can only be developed through shared struggle, they threw off the yoke of their previous shortcomings and played with a level of intensity that will surely leave the soccer gods pleased for weeks to come.
Upon arriving at the field, Fletcher Fútbol found the parking lot packed to capacity (somehow the stands were suspiciously empty though?) and intuitively sensed the magnitude of the game about to be played. The chance had finally come to avenge the memories of broken noses that had haunted them since the 2013 season. Only limited revenge would be possible though; certain members of the HLS team were supposedly unable to secure a legal injunction to protect themselves from the diplomatic wrath of Fletcher and thus they were only able to field 10 players for the game.
With the autumn air crisp and the stadium lights bright in the black night, it felt like all of Boston was watching as the game kicked off a little after 7pm. From the start, Fletcher controlled the play in all areas of the field, moving the ball around at will. But the team didn’t close on any of the opportunities they were able to create until Kiely unleashed a vicious volley from inside the eighteen that found the back of the net like a fish actively trying to be caught. Unlike previous games though, this is not where the scoring would stop for Fletcher. Albert and David would both score before the halftime whistle would blow.
In an attempt to reverse their fortune, HLS hoped to effectively counter Fletcher’s multi-pronged attack with a goaltending switch coming out of halftime. It was all for naught though. Minutes into the second half, Liam made a ballerina-esque run into the box and scored a goal, emphatically sending the message that the onslaught was not over yet. Two additional goals followed.
At the end of the night, the imaginary scoreboard read 6-0 in favor of the diplomats from Fletcher.
And there you have it. Sports is a natural focus for community building, and soccer/fútbol crosses international boundaries. More than many Fletcher student activities, Fletcher Fútbol pulls the community together, whether on the field or on the sidelines.