Third year straight making history
By Jorge A. Ramirez-Artuz (TheLorian)
It was another great night on the books for Loras College on Friday, Sept. 9, as they hosted a successful Latino Night for students at Rock Bowl Stadium. This was the third year that Loras has hosted Latino Night, and with the help of LULAC, The Center for Inclusion & Advocacy, and many other Loras staff members, the Duhawks were able to host two soccer matches – one men’s and one women’s. Latino Night seeks to highlight and celebrate diversity through sports. This “nonstop” event, which started at 6 p.m. and lasted until 10 p.m., had over one hundred attendees who came not only to appreciate the “beautiful game,” but to partake in one of the last large public gatherings that Loras College will be able to host for the foreseeable future. Despite the changes necessitated by COVID-19, as shown by the absence of concessions and prizes, and the introduction of mask-wearing and social distancing, the attendance and support were phenomenal from the start.
The men’s and women’s rosters were divided, splitting the individual teams into two. Due to COVID-19 regulations, competing against an outside opponent was not a viable option. Dividing the team and pitting teammate against teammate added competition and created opportunities for all the players on both teams to get their time on the pitch and in the spotlight during this very special evening.
The women’s team, led by head coach Matt Pucci, had previously performed three times in the stadium throughout the semester, whereas the men’s team, coached by Steven McCarthy, was making its unofficial debut. The fans who were present were looking forward to watching a dynamic women’s team that boasted several promising players who had played well in previous scrimmages. Similarly, the men’s team had several first-years to showcase, as well as a new coaching staff with a renovated playing style to implement.
For the ladies’ game, the white team ended up with a 2-1 victory at the end, whereas the men’s purple team won 3-1. In spite of the stress of the pandemic, the teams were able to put COVID-19 aside for a moment, coming together to play the game they love while honoring the Latinx heritages and cultures of not only those they play beside but of all the Loras College community members.