The soccer pitch, whether grass or a number of other surfaces, serves as a home for professional athletes, college students and many others around the world. Wherever one might be, there is always a place for pickup soccer, or pelada, to be played.
I found my “home” in the middle of an open field across from Mill Street Village during move-in day. All I had to do was look for the two soccer nets. There, was a group of 25 students playing the game that so many love. After waiting 15 minutes for the initial two games to end, I joined a team of six other students and started playing my first 7-on-7 soccer game on campus.
Each week during the last semester, I would go to the field to play pickup soccer with my fellow students. Being my first semester at OHIO, I made many of my first friends on the soccer ground. The athletes included a mixture of men and women, who were Caucasian, African-American, Asian, Hispanic and Indian. The game connected all of us together, even if we were not from the same place or spoke the same language. Of course, soccer is a universal language in that way.
Additionally, the sport provides a way for one to forget all other problems in one’s life. It can serve as a way to free one’s mind or it can just serve as a study break.
In the winter, we take our game to Walter Fieldhouse to play on turf or the Ping Center to play futsal, a version of soccer often played on an indoor court.