Students from Qatar campus compete in intramural soccer matches last week
This past week, a dozen students from Carnegie Mellon-Qatar in Doha arrived on campus after a 14-hour flight to experience a small dose of life in Pittsburgh during their spring break. They spent the initial weekend of their trip traveling to museums, shows, restaurants, and the movies. This was the first trip to the United States for many of the students, and the trip provided them with a well-rounded experience.
In an effort to promote fellowship between the visitors and the students here, a series of soccer games was organized with some of the best intramural teams; a total of four indoor and two outdoor games were played over the course of the week. Staying true to the complete Pittsburgh experience, the temperature was around 40˚F for the first game Tuesday night and it rained during the Thursday game.
The opening game for the series was between the Qatari team and the outdoor IM Intermediate soccer champions, Blazing Schnacks. The Qatari team got off to an early 2–0 lead, but then the Blazing Schnacks fought back to eventually tie the game at its final score of 2–2. Hatem Salem, a sophomore business major from the Qatar campus, felt that the soccer games were “a good opportunity to get to know the Pittsburgh students.” The casual nature of the event allowed the students to “bond over a love for the game,” Salem added. The first match set an excellent benchmark for the rest of the games.
Moving indoors dramatically changed the pace and intensity of the games, overturning the cautious atmosphere of the first game, which was playful yet hesitant. Once the Qatari students moved indoors to face off against Real Mellon and Bend it Like Nacio, they seemed much more willing to play their own style. Making few player substitutions into the game, the Qatari students were able to better use their ball-handling skills and play more cohesively. In addition, there were also no weather issues to deal with. They ended the indoor series with a 3–1 lead over the Carnegie Mellon Pittsburgh teams. Their only loss came against the talented Real Mellon.
The series ended outdoors where it began in a rainy Gesling Stadium. Before the game, Carnegie Mellon Qatar junior business major Amas Abu Qamar was excited for his first soccer game in the rain. “The ball is very slick and I do not know what to expect, but this will still be fun,” he said. Initially it appeared as if the Qatari team was having difficulty controlling the ball, but the players still managed to win 5–3. After the game, Qamar said, “It was a good end to a fun week.”