The Oldest College Newspaper in Pennsylvania

The Lafayette

The Oldest College Newspaper in Pennsylvania

The Lafayette

The Oldest College Newspaper in Pennsylvania

The Lafayette

Men’s soccer hosts annual Earn Your Spots Game

Men’s soccer tied ESU at Cottingham Stadium. (Photo courtesy of Charlie Johnson)

This past weekend, the men’s soccer team held its annual Earn Your Spots charity match at Cottingham Stadium. The Leopards played East Stroudsburg University (ESU), tying the Warriors 0-0.

About 300 people were in attendance at Cottingham, which is a stadium that is part of the Easton Area School District.

“This is a historic stadium in Easton, so … it was awesome to even have the opportunity to play there again,” senior midfielder Benji Grossi said. “When you’re playing like in a stadium like that with a crowd, it’s always gonna be a competitive game.

Grossi explained that the team had been struggling with numbers this past spring season, and some of the players had to play a full 90 minutes while watching ESU sub multiple men in and out. Despite this, the Leopards managed to keep the game tied.

This game is a culmination of the community service the team does with the Earn Your Spots Book Club, which supports the promotion of the literacy of students in the Easton area. Each semester, players go to Paxinosa and Cheston Elementary schools and read to students grades kindergarten to fifth grade.

Bohn explained that the focus of the annual charity game isn’t on money but on book donations.

“About 200-300 books were brought to the game by fans to support the book club,” head men’s soccer coach Dennis Bohn wrote in an email. “We will now deliver them to local elementary schools as well as the Easton area library for distribution.”

According to Bohn, players read to over 40 different elementary school classrooms this semester. In addition to reading to classrooms, the men’s soccer program also donated 500 new books to students at both elementary schools.

“We feel it is important to interact with the youth in the city of Easton and motivate them to embrace reading. Our players are great role models and are making a positive impact by helping young people understand the importance of going to school and continuing their education through reading,” Bohn said.

Grossi said that the team has been building a relationship with the students as the community service continues.

“It’s awesome, especially when we go to read to these kids, and then after a few times, they start recognizing us. Sometimes I’ll even get called out when these kids come [to Lafayette] on field trips,” Grossi said. “Building this community between Lafayette soccer and Easton is something that we aspire to do.”

Grossi, who is graduating this May, is excited to see where the soccer program will go in the near future.

“Obviously I’m sad that it’s my last year, but for the program moving forward, there’s a lot of exciting things to come, especially with the new stadium and the way that the team is transitioning,” Grossi said. “The program is taking huge steps. Over the course of the four years I’ve been here, I’ve seen it firsthand.”

While Grossi is one of a handful of team members who have graduated or will graduate in the next year, the Earn Your Spots Book Club is here to stay. 

“Moving forward, we just want to grow the club by reading to more students and delivering more books into the hands of the amazing kids here in our city of Easton,” Bohn wrote.

Assistant Sports Editor Eric Ponieman ’25, a member of the men’s soccer team, did not contribute writing or reporting.

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Caroline McParland, Sports Editor

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