Story and photos by Matt Decker
Eight military-unit teams kicked off Fort Leonard Wood’s 2018 intramural soccer season, with matches played April 10 and 11 at Soccer Field No. 2.
The U.S. Marine Corps Detachment — the intramural and Commander’s Cup tournament defending champions from 2017 — picked up where they left off, starting their 2018 season with a record of 1-0 after picking up a forfeit victory April 11.
While the match was called early, the Marine team used the remaining time to conduct an inter-squad practice scrimmage along with a handful of players from the opposing team. For Marine Det. coach Alex Briceno, the session was an opportunity to see his players in action, evaluate their strengths and identify some areas that still needed improvement.
“We did practice a couple of times (before the match)” Briceno said. “I’ve got a good set of Marines who wanted to come out and show what Marines are all about on the field.”
Like many service members whose primary sport is soccer, Briceno appreciates the intramural program provided by the Family and Morale, Welfare and Recreation Sports Branch, which gives service members the opportunity not only to play the sport they love, but also earn points for their units toward the yearlong intramural and Commander’s Cup titles.
“It’s actually an honor to play in an Army program through MWR and the sports division,” Briceno said. “To put all this together, not only for our permanent personnel but for our students, too, is great. Most of my squad is made up of students. So, from PFCs all the way to top NCOs, we’re all out here together; we all like the sport, and we like what they do for us.”
Also on April 11, the 5th Engineer Battalion defeated the 3rd Battalion, 10th Infantry Regiment, 7-2.
In games played April 10:
— The 5th Engr. Bn. defeated the 554th Engineer Battalion, 5-1;
— The Medical Department Activity beat the 169th Engineer Battalion, 5-2;
— The 3-10th Inf. Bn. defeated the 14th Military Police Brigade, 4-3.
Teams will continue to play at 6, 7 and 8 p.m. on Tuesdays and at 6 and 7 p.m. Wednesdays on Field 2 over the next five weeks.