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UVI Marks Inaugural Home Soccer Match Oct. 4; Bucs to Host Polytecnica

soccer home opener image

The University of the Virgin Islands marks its inaugural home soccer match on the school’s new, LAI league-approved soccer field on the Albert A. Sheen Campus on St. Croix on Saturday, Oct. 4. The 2 p.m. matchup will pit UVI’s Buccaneers against Polytecnica University of Puerto Rico. The match is the first of two scheduled home matches this season, with the second against Sacred Heart on Oct. 7.

Along with the match itself, the Sheen Campus plans two days of related activities, beginning Friday, Oct. 3, with a “Meet the Student Athletes” session during a Hispanic Heritage Month reception planned from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. in the Great Hall. The reception will include a pep rally featuring members of the UVI soccer team and presentations by the UVI “Outlaws” dance team and by Comite Accion de Dominicano.

UPDATE: UVI Defeats UPR-Carolina 3-2, 
Bucs Soccer Squad Dominates Match

The Bucs notched their first win of the 2014 season on Oct. 1, dominating UPR-Carolina, 3-2. It brings UVI's record to 1-2 going into their inaugural home match at 2:30 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 4, on the Albert Sheen Campus.  UVI will take on Polytechnica University in the contest.

“The soccer players’ excitement in anticipation of the inaugural home match is infectious,” said Nereida Washington, director of UVI’s Campus Operations on St. Croix. “We’re happy to see this project completed. It adds a regulation sized soccer field to our athletic programs and we anticipate strong community support for the inaugural home match.”

The soccer field is located adjacent to the campus’ outdoor tennis and basketball courts. Washington said the field, in addition to hosting collegiate sports at the league level, “was developed with an eye toward delivering physical education classes that will help enhance the athletic opportunities for all our students.” It was funded through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009.

Saturday’s festivities begin at 1 p.m. near the soccer field, with a procession of players from UVI and Polytecnica. The teams will be escorted by members of the VI Soccer Association Youth players and the AYSO Youth players, respectively. A ribbon cutting ceremony follows for the new field, which was approved for league play by LAI (Liga Atltica Interuniversitaria) officials late this summer. UVI student Felicia Emmanuel will sing the National Anthem. Remarks by UVI President Dr. David Hall, Provost Dr. Camille McKayle and Interim Athletic Director Curtis Gilpin are also planned.

Following the ceremonies, the match between the Bucs and Polytecnica starts at 2 p.m. Halftime entertainment will be provided with UVI students taking center stage performing a dance to the rhythms of the steel pan. UVI Art Club students also plan to be on hand to paint temporary tattoos on willing young faces with soccer balls and “UVI” in the middle. President Hall will also make special presentations to Hispanic youth, with UVI distributing soccer balls, t-shirts and shin guards to the young people.

“I’m looking forward to having the opportunity to play at home,” said Gilpin. “I think it makes a big difference to be on the UVI campus. It’s a first of many firsts.” Over the summer, UVI’s Athletics Department initiated searches for full-time men’s basketball and soccer coaches, expanding both positions with physical education teaching responsibilities. The soccer coach will work on St. Croix, with the basketball coach stationed on St. Thomas.

“I think the students are looking forward to it as well. It’s a big occasion to actually have a home match on St. Croix. We look forward to defending our home field,” Gilpin said. “We’re very proud of our field. We think it’s one of the best in the league as well. There’s a lot of anticipation. I can’t wait to experience the atmosphere now.” He also said that the players have been practicing on the filed since early in September.  

While the hiring of a new soccer coach is near, Gilpin said he’s happy to be able to rely on Coach Johannes Worede, who led the Bucs for the last three seasons, to assist with the transition to a new coach.

The 2014 Buccaneers feature a 15 man roster, with five from the St. Thomas Campus and 10 from the Sheen Campus. Team members are Jordan Atemazem, Maxwell Daniels, Garfield Ferdinand, Kimani George – co-captain, Jahidi Gussie, Damien James, Gejae Jeffers, Peter Oculien, Gilbert Roberts, Christopher Rosario, Denny Smith – co-captain, Caleb Tavernier, Josiah Telesford, Ismail H. Yusuf and Ismail S. Yusuf. Worede’s assistant coach is Jonas Verhoff.

The Bucs LAI 2014 schedule calls for seven regular season matches and one scheduled interleague matchup. Of those eight matches, five are in Puerto Rico and two on St. Croix, with the location to be determined of the interleague contest. To date the Bucs are 0-2, with one remaining match on the road against UPR-Carolina, on Wednesday, Oct. 1, before their two-match home stand. If the Bucs make it into the playoffs, some of those matches could be played on St. Croix.

Buccaneers LAI 2014 Schedule

  • Sept. 19 – UVI vs. UPR-Rio Piedras – at Rio Piedras Campus
  • Sept. 26 – UVI vs. UMET at 10 a.m. – at Sixto Escobar Comples – Old San Juan, PR
  • Oct. 1 – UVI vs. UPR-Carolina at 10 a.m. – Don Bosco – PR
  • Oct. 4 – Polytecnica vs. UVI at 2 p.m. - at Albert Sheen Campus (HOME OPENER)
  • Oct. 7 – Sacred Heart vs. UVI at 2 p.m. - Albert Sheen Campus (HOME)
  • Oct. 10 – UVI vs. Caribbean University at 11 a.m. - at Bayamon Soccer Complex – PR
  • Oct. 15 – UVI vs. UPR-Bayamon at 10 a.m. - at Bayamon Soccer Complex – PR
  • Oct. 18 – Inter league Match vs. TBD – location TBD