An Energetic Student Section Shows a Promising Season for FGCU’s Soccer Team


Jessica Piland

Students yelling the opposing goalie’s name at an FGCU home game.

Nick Asselin, Sports Editor

Have you ever wanted to know the goalie’s name of the opposing soccer team? There’s a good chance FGCU’s student section has figured it out. 

The student section at soccer games this season has been nothing short of electric. From yelling the goalie’s name, blowing horns and banging on the metal fence, student support of the soccer teams was at a high point this season. 

“The experience is just majestic,” senior Jake Gajus said. “There’s nothing like tripping a goalie every single time we’re out here. If you get a good enough crowd, then the real creativeness starts coming out. Once you get in their head, it’s a wrap.”

Students believed it was their duty to play a part in the game to help the Eagles the best they could. Freshman Vance Reuther compared it to being the 12th man in an NFL game, a term made popular by the Seattle Seahawks due to how loud their fanbase was.  

“It’s great to get to support your own school,” Reuther said. “I think it’s just like the ability to not be able to play in the games but get the feeling you’re helping your team by being back here and supporting them.”

This season, Reuther has led the student section in the chanting of the opposing goalie’s name. Reuther says an upperclassman gave him the idea. He believes it is a way to get in the goalie’s head and force a mistake.

“It started working a little bit because you could see the keeper get more mad,” Reuther said. “We just kept going, and it became a bit of a tradition this season.”

The student section is also given blue horns to blow throughout the game. Whenever the opposing goalie goes to kick the ball, it is difficult to hear anything over the sound of the horns. 

“The horns are probably the best part of being a Dirty Bird,” Reuther said. “You can either be as loud as you want with it, or you can use it to bang on the fence. We just try to make the most obnoxious noises that mess with the other team’s rhythm.”

After a long night of standing his ground, Reuther says that his voice has taken a toll after blowing into the horn for the entire game.

“My voice doesn’t exist the day after these games,” Reuther said. “Your voice is pretty much gone after the next day because we are constantly blowing the horn like the whole game. My hands hurt after banging on the fence too. It’s so worth it. Especially when we score.”

Freshman Christopher Giourgas says he was surprised at how much energy the student section brought for being a fairly small school. 

“It’s really fun and creative stuff that we do just to mess with the players,” Giourgas said. “We try to see what we can do for our team as fans. Even when nothing is going on in the game, we try to come up with random stuff to keep it going. A lot of people might quit, but I’m one of the people that keep going the entire game.”

Gajus, who is graduating in December, says that he’s enjoyed coming to the soccer games throughout his time at FGCU. He’s thankful to have played a part in the Eagles’ success from the sidelines. 

“It’s all part of the game,” Gajus said. “We’re all a team. We’re all Eagles at some point. They execute on the field, and we do our off-field duties. Our off-field duties are to make it really loud when they have to play defense.”