When you are at a Shippensburg University men’s soccer game, the voices that are heard transcends you into middle Europe.
The accents flood the pitch, making the game feel as if it is taking place in Wembley Stadium, not an American university.
Three students, Oli Templeton, Chris Black and Patrick Urmson from SU have made their journey from Europe in search for something they have strove for — a college degree.
Hailing from Huddersfield, England; Glasgow, Scotland; and Rauma, Finland, the trio has brought a unique style to the Raiders, a style, in large part, which has helped them become so successful.
Their passion for soccer stems from various sources, but the tradition and genuine love of the game has driven them throughout their childhood into the present.
That genuine passion brought them to America for a chance to succeed on the bigger stages.
Templeton was drawn to SU after a recruiting visit from head coach Jeremy Spering — the appeal of playing soccer and getting a degree drove him to come to SU of all places.
“Coming to America, you get the professional soccer environment and the scholarship to carry on your academics,” Templeton said. “I did not come here before so I did not know what I was getting myself into but I loved it here.”
Templeton was not the only one driven here by Spering’s recruiting. Urmson and Black both came here mostly to get a degree while playing the sport they love.
“I was just trying to push for better stages and bigger soccer programs,” Urmson said. “I’m happy with my decision.”
The happiness that these three players feel toward being in the States has transcended onto the soccer field where all three are having solid years. The trio has combined for 15 points, with three goals coming from Templeton and is looking to keep pace in their remaining three games.
Granted, the Raiders are in the midst of a disappointing season at 4-7-2, but they are still benefiting from contributions from Templeton, Black and Urmson, who have fit into the style of play that is seen in America.
“I wasn’t surprised by the style of play here, the physical style of it,” Templeton said. “It differs from the finesse style that is played back home.”
With the production that these three players have made, the SU program is poised to rebound from a disappointing season. However, despite the season, the trio is living large in America and enjoying every moment that SU has to offer.
“I don’t know if it’s the college life, but I enjoy my life here,” Templeton said. “But on the other hand, its great knowing that you have England to go back to.”