By Chris Mitchell
Assistant AD for Communications
The Washington University in St. Louis men's soccer team will honors its seven seniors prior to Sunday's contest against Carnegie Mellon University – Shadi Awad, Anthony Law, Kevin Maedomari, Colin McCune, Chris Rieger, Zach Virgilio and Andrew Zingone.
This group has helped lead the Bears to a 36-18-10 (.641) overall record in four seasons on the Danforth Campus. During this time the Bears recorded three winning seasons and made two appearances in the NCAA Tournament.
The seven seniors reflected on the past four years with Assistant AD for Communications Chris Mitchell.
Favorite Soccer Memory at WashU: My favorite soccer memory at WashU was when we went to Lisbon, Portugal, and got to play against the local teams. It was really fun being in a foreign country and getting to experience a different kind of environment and style of soccer. We had the chance to explore the city of Lisbon and attend a professional game to watch FC Porto play as well.
Plans Upon Graduation: Next year I'll be working as a medical assistant in Alabama, before attending graduate school to earn a dual MD/MBA degree in medicine and health care management.
What have you learned from playing under head coach Joe Clarke: I've learned a lot about soccer playing under Joe Clarke, but more importantly he's taught me about having the right balance in life. He constantly reminds us that there are bigger things outside of soccer and to try and keep everything in perspective. He always emphasizes that our team is a family and it's something that we pride ourselves on.
Favorite Soccer Memory at WashU: Travelling to Portugal with the team.
Plans Upon Graduation: Work in progress. Finding a spot where I can make a positive impact in the world.
What have you learned from playing under head coach Joe Clarke: My learning from Joe extends well beyond the field. I've learned so much about being a student of the game as well as being a caring and respectful member of the community. I am extremely grateful for the chance to do that in the way I have over the last four years.
Favorite Soccer Memory at WashU: Pre-pre where we all just hang out and play soccer before preseason starts. Also, just having the opportunity to play college soccer everyday with my teammates.
Plans Upon Graduation: Attend law school after taking a gap year.
What have you learned from playing under head coach Joe Clarke: A lot of advanced tactical knowledge that I had not been previously exposed to, and how to analyze and decipher emails.
Favorite Soccer Memory at WashU: Making a diving save in overtime in my first start for WashU to keep the team in the game.
Plans Upon Graduation: Travel around Southeast Asia with my friends and then move to New York where I'll start working.
What have I learned from playing under Joe Clarke: You are only as strong as you are fundamentally. There is no replacement for hard work, and in order to succeed at whatever you do, you need to have a solid base.
Favorite Soccer Memory at WashU: Making the "California Gurls" music video when we played in Southern California two years ago.
Plans Upon Graduation: Work as a freelance videographer.
What have you learned from playing under head coach Joe Clarke: Being true to yourself and those around you will allow you to overcome any adversity you may face.
Favorite Soccer Memory at WashU: The mix of intensity and humor in this this most recent (and my only) preseason.
Plans Upon Graduation: Pursue a PhD in Mathematics.
What have you learned from playing under head coach Joe Clarke: That no matter how good you think you are, there are lots of details you need to work on to improve on the field. And I believe this lesson applies off the field as well.
Favorite Soccer Memory at WashU: Traveling to Portugal our freshman summer to play Benfica and other Portuguese clubs. The memories include: "selfie" becoming a team celebration, Portugal stealing Knight's phone, Mishra taking a two-minute nap, Politan (WhaleD) and I trying to get lost, Mr. Meehan driving us to an ally, Shadi playing with walking pneumonia, hanging out at the pool with Joe, and arguing with Portuguese referees.
Plans Upon Graduation: Pursue a career in sports marketing and administration.
What have you learned from playing under head coach Joe Clarke: I was given a straight red card 60 minutes into the first college game. I was beside myself and felt like I had let my teammates and coach down. However, after the game Joe said one thing to me: "Eventually you will look back and laugh about this." To this day that moment defines Joe as leader and a coach to me. In the time when any coach would have berated me for making a mistake and leaving the team vulnerable, Joe showed compassion and helped me grow from the experience. Joe has taught me to pick others up when they are in need, how to enjoy soccer, and above all to be willing to laugh at yourself.