OREM — Wednesday marked a historic day for Utah Valley University athletics as the men's soccer team took to the pitch for the first time.
"Men's soccer in the state of Utah has been a long time coming, and it's great to see it finally come to fruition on the UVU campus," Director of Athletics Vince Otoupal said. "Having these student-athletes on campus and ready to compete academically and athletically grows the Wolverine family in an extremely positive way."
Still a year out from competition, head coach Greg Maas and associate head coach Matt Ellinger led the Wolverines through their first-ever training session Wednesday afternoon.
"Today was certainly a special moment for UVU athletics," Maas said. "Honestly, it was an emotional moment for myself and coach Ellinger to finally get out on the field and start working. We were both very impressed with the energy and the overall level of play the guys brought to the first day. It was a tremendous start to our program and I could not have asked for more."
Utah Valley trained on campus for two hours as it sets its sights on the 2014 season, now less than 365 days away. Jared Sumsion, associate athletics director and men's soccer administrator, was also on hand toward the end of practice and briefly addressed the team.
"Jared has done a lot to get this program rolling," Maas said. "It meant a lot to me and to the guys to see him out there.
"Today was special for me, but more importantly, it was special for the players. There was a strong sense of UVU pride out there today and we're all excited to watch this thing grow."
Kellen Hiser is an assistant sports information director at Utah Valley University. For more information on Wolverine athletics, visit WolverineGreen.com.