For the third consecutive year the Einstein community united for some fun and philanthropy, all while playing the world’s most popular sport — soccer. Einstein’s 2011 World Cup soccer tournament was held over three beautiful Sundays this September on the mini-soccer field, where a host of nations vied for the coveted top spot.
Sounding the vuvuzelaReflecting the diverse community at Einstein that helped to inspire the competition, teams hailed from all corners of the globe. The first day of the event saw Spain, InterContinentals, Antarctica, and Costa Rica emerge victorious in round-robin play. Other teams competing that day included Germany, the Netherlands and Tuvalu. Advancing to the finals from the second day of play were Africa, Trinidad and Tobago, Luxembourg, and Argentina outplaying teams representing Latin America and the Middle East.
The final games commenced on a warm Sunday morning, with the soccer field a little muddy from rains in the preceding days and teams geared up to compete. The talent was fierce from all nations, but the day ultimately concluded with Argentina and Costa Rica playing for campus bragging rights. The final match was fought ferociously, though with great sportsmanship, by both teams; when the final whistle was blown, they were deadlocked at 3-3. As supporters cheered, assisted by vuvuzela noisemakers, the teams moved into five minutes of riveting overtime play.
During the extra time, Julie Nadel scored the winning goal off a throw-in from Tony Bowen. Following the thrilling win, the teams congratulated each other and Costa Rica gathered around their goalie extraordinaire, Jorge Aguilar, for an exhausted rendition of Queen’s "We are the Champions." As champions, the Costa Rica team took home prizes donated from favorite neighborhood establishments, Coals and Beans and Berries, and then went on to join the other players and spectators at a barbecue sponsored by the Graduate Student Council.
Score!Dr. Laura Norwood Toro, a postdoc in cell biology, and Dr. Joerg Schlatterer, an instructor in biochemistry, originally conceived of the tournament in 2009, inspired by the upcoming FIFA World Cup in South Africa as well as by Einstein’s very own international community. They also organized this year’s event, along with graduate students Andrea Silva, Reniqua House and Henry Shikani. All games were overseen by a group of volunteer referees, including Dr. Norwood Toro and graduate students Henry Shikani, Dario Riascos-Bernal, Carlos De Leon-Rodriguez and Diego Miranda.
Along with encouraging networking among members of the Einstein community, another important goal of the competition is to give back to the community by raising money for a local charity. This year, as in past years, the fundraiser’s beneficiary was the TEAK Fellowship, a local charity that assists gifted New York City students from low-income families with getting into better high schools and providing mentoring so that they can get into good colleges. As a result of this year’s Einstein World Cup, an impressive $1,365 was raised.
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Posted on: Monday, October 31, 2011