Sports teams start up at Goodwin College

By Frances Taylor - Staff Writer
East Hartford - posted Fri., Mar. 9, 2012
The Goodwin College Navigators soccer team is one of several sports programs being developed at the college.  Photos by Frances Taylor.
The Goodwin College Navigators soccer team is one of several sports programs being developed at the college. Photos by Frances Taylor.

With the expansion of Goodwin College – more degrees being offered, more students and expansion of the campus – has come the desire for a more cohesive identity. In other words, it's time for Goodwin to enter the ranks of local colleges with a sports team.

The process has been ongoing for the past two years. The first step was last year's selection of a college mascot and a name. The name "Navigators" was selected by students to reflect the school's proximity to the river, among other things. The next step has been to build a college sports program from the ground up.

This year, the Goodwin College “Navs" have teams playing basketball, soccer and flag football, and there are plans for tennis, golf and rowing teams.The college's coed soccer team played its first game of the season this past week at the Oakwood Soccer Center in Glastonbury. Dave Zoppoli is coach of the team.

Jean Philius, a second-year student, said he came out for the soccer team as soon as he heard about it.” I used to play in school where I lived in New Jersey, so as soon as I heard they were going to have a team I was there,'' Philius said.

Keith Cardona. a pre-nursing student, said he welcomed the opportunity to get back into the game he enjoyed during his high school years. “I am a die-hard soccer fan, and I think it's great that the school has decided to have a team,'' he said.

The Navs are currently playing other recreational teams in the area, but the goal is to eventually create a league made of community colleges such as Manchester, Tunxis and others, said Eric Emet, dean of community outreach at Goodwin. Building a sports program from the ground up is a tremendous amount of work, Emet said, “but we believe it will be important in creating cohesion among the student body, involving our students in all aspects of college life.''

Goodwin also has a basketball team that has been running for the past two years. Aaron Issacs coaches the team, which meets at the Wilson Gray Center in Hartford and plays against YMCA leagues there.

The college has invested in new uniforms and equipment for the teams, and space for a gym and athletic center will become available as campus construction continues, said Dean of Students Sandy Wirth. ”We are investing in the equipment that our students will need,'' she said. “We believe in giving our students the best we have to offer.''

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