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Athletes of Distinction

Monroe women's soccer builds bridges, builds character

The Monroe Mustangs women's soccer team is building relationships with disabled young adults and adults in Yonkers and it's proving to be a meaningful experience for everyone involved.  For the second time in two weeks, the Mustangs, led by Coach 
Jonathan Garbar, visited Richmond Comunity Services and spent quality time with the residents there, playing softball, dancing to music, and simply sharing the day.  It's part of the Monroe Mustangs ongoing effort to support important community organizations.

"This was the second time we were here and it was awesome," said Coach Garbar. "We were able to see some of the people we met during our first trip and meet some new ones as well.  We had a blast being outside, playing softball and just enjoying the day."

Sixteen women's soccer players and two from the men's team participated in the fun acvtivities, assisting the patients in a game of softball, dancing to Elvis Presley music, playing catch and making friends.

"These team experiences are just as important to our program's success as any game or training session," Coach Garbar said.  "It brings our girls closer together, connects us with our community, and most importantly develops our players' awareness and self confidence."

In return, Richmond is planning to bring fans to see the Mustangs play.

"It is going to be exciting to play in front of our new friends and a number of Richmond's amazing staff members," Coach Garbar said.  "There is no question that we will have even more motivation to play well in front of individuals who have most inspired us so far this season."  

"This was a great experience and even better the second time around," said co-captain sophomore Itzel Guzman.  "It's a reminder of the type of real challenges that so many others face and confront with strength and commitment and it can't help but inspire us on the field and in life.  The whole team had an awesome time."

Women's soccer players score points with the community

Assist disabled children at parks event

On Saturday, August 18, the Monroe Mustangs women's soccer team took time out from their busy preseason schedule to lend the community a helping hand. In conjunction with Richmond Community Services in Yonkers, sixteen Mustang players helped transport disabled young adults and adults to nearby Untermyer Park so they could enjoy a lovely summer concert. This is part of head coach Jonathan Garbar's ongoing efforts to broaden the team experience to more than just what takes place on the field and in the classroom.

"We have a group of healthy, intelligent and strong young women who can and should do a lot in our community," Coach Garbar said. "It's an honor and a duty to work alongside others who we can support and learn from at the same time.”

Some of the players had done community service before coming to Monroe and some had not. But without exception, they were enthusiastic about helping wheelchair-bound people get to and from the park and sit with them so they could make the most of the fresh air and the Evening of Italian Culture featuring Adesso, which was co-sponsored and planned in collaboration with the Yonkers Columbus Day Celebration Committee.

“It's great to do something that focuses on others, especially when you can learn from the experience", said Melanie Formosa, a freshman midfielder/forward from Manhattan. "We're fortunate to be able to learn from others who share some of the same strength that we have, and even some that don't. This experience definitely brought our team, which is already close, even closer together.”

Coach Garbar plans to have his team do more community service through the upcoming season, which begins in Rochester, NY this Friday. The Mustangs first home game is on Thursday, September 13 at City Park in New Rochelle beginning at 6:30pm. Last year Monroe reached the national finals.

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