by Tatyana Breitkreuz

The crisp blow of the whistle is what began two University of Northwestern- St. Paul seniors’ journeys as college soccer athletes.

Adam Molohon and Eric Fast came to UNW with a dream: to play college soccer. Each have a special devotion to the sport that they dedicate hours of hard running to each day. As kids, college soccer seemed so far away, so unreachable. But as the athletes grew older, their goals grew bigger and so did their love for the sport.

Joining the Northwestern soccer team was the destination for both Eagle athletes, but the routes they took to get there had different twists and turns.

I played at a highly competitive level,” said Fast, who is currently part of the Minnesota Thunder Academy competitive traveling team. “There really wasn’t much to adjust to. The only difference I saw between the two was that college soccer was more reliant on physical abilities rather than technical. So adjusting to it that wasn’t difficult.”

Men's soccer has played extremely competitively in 2016. The Eagles drew with nationally ranked St. Olaf and lost in the 105th minute to a powerful St. Thomas squad (photo by Christa Gullickson).

Men’s soccer has played extremely competitively in 2016. The Eagles drew with nationally ranked St. Olaf and lost in the 105th minute to a powerful St. Thomas squad (photo by Christa Gullickson).

For Molohon, his years prior to Northwestern were dedicated to playing for North St. Paul High School as well as being a member of the St. Croix Soccer Club. “I’ve played all my life,” recounted Molohon, “but I had to step up with making my touches better and decisions quicker along with being more physical.”

Looking back, years as underclassmen don’t seem too long ago for Molohon and Fast. Whether it was the sensations they felt within or around themselves, their early soccer days were unforgettable.

“The first time I played was my freshman year against St. Thomas,” Molohon reminisced. “I was nervous at first, but once I got my first touch on the ball, the nerves went away. I felt good because I played well and was able to say I was a college athlete.”

Fast remembers the late night games at UNW’s fully-lit Reynolds Field.

“I love the night games, playing under the lights of our new facility. My freshman year, we didn’t have that. Being able to play on the new field the past three years is amazing.”

Both soccer players believe that among other things, lifelong friendships are what were gained and most cherished from the sport.

“I’m going to miss the whole atmosphere of college soccer,” said Fast. “The hype, preparation for the game, and the actual game. Everything will be missed walking away from the college level of soccer.”

Molohon also mentioned one of the unforgettable perks of being on the team. “I’m going to miss being able to go to Fogo de Chao twice a year for way cheaper than usual.”

Gruesome late-night practices. Cleats sinking into dewy-coated turf. The rapping of the net enveloping the ball. As the clock is counting down to its final seconds, the men have only a few short months of their college soccer career.

College flies fast, everyone would tell them, but after over 60 games played combined, these Eagle athletes aren’t about to walk off the field quite yet.

“With this being my senior year, I definitely want to go out with no regrets,” said Molohon. “This season is all about leaving it on the field, working hard, and enjoying my last season as a college soccer player.” He added, “I really want to score a goal, since I have not scored one yet in college.”

Fast commented, “As a team, we are definitely looking very strong, and I hope we can continue that through the season. He added, “My personal goal is to end the season by being known on the field- get the other team talking about me, because I’m a threat.”

With only a handful of games left, the seniors will compete with purpose as Northwestern Eagles soccer players up to the sound they know all too well:

Three long whistle blows.

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