Daniel Nicolaus has arrived in Pittsburgh from Gainesville, Florida to be a member of the inaugural Carlow men’s soccer team.
When he reports to training camp on August 15, he’ll be on the pitch with three teammates from just down the road at Brashear High School, another from Syracuse, New York, and another who has spent the past three and a half years serving in the United States Air Force.
Team members will have three weeks to get comfortable playing together before taking on Washington Adventist University in the first men’s soccer game in Carlow history, on September fifth, at Highmark Stadium.
Nicolaus isn’t worried. He’s counting on the unifying power of the sport he’s been playing since he was five years old. He has played for Buchholz High School, Gainesville Soccer Alliance Club, and Westmoreland County Community College.
“Soccer is very much like a community because of its universal language,” said Nicolaus, who plays center back, outside back, and center mid.
“In Florida, I could go out and play with guys from Colombia, Ecuador, Haiti, and Brazil. We may not have been able to communicate to each other all that well with spoken language, but through soccer, we could bond and show each other who we are through how we carried ourselves on the field. Soccer is the ultimate team game; if everyone isn't working together, the community fails.”
He knows the season will be a growing process as teammates gain experience with each other.
But for Nicolaus, that was part of the attraction of Carlow. The university’s low student-faculty ratio and strong biology program were major factors in his college selection process. He hopes to eventually continue to Palmer College of Chiropractic, become a chiropractor, and provide natural health care, without drugs or surgery, to patients – especially soccer players.
Carlow’s intangible draw was the opportunity to better himself while building something bigger than himself.
“It means a great deal to me to be one of the first players in the program’s history,” said Nicolaus, who also hopes to coach soccer in the future. “It poses a challenge not only as an athlete, but also as a person. The ups and downs of a new program expose and strengthen character.”
He said the players will focus on spending a lot of time together both on and off the field. As they arrive on campus, there’s a sense of excitement.
“So far, all the guys get along well together, and we all have the same attitude and anticipation for the upcoming season,” he said.
“I look forward to the opportunity to build over the next few seasons—to not only witness the growth of a program but to really be a part of it.”
Learn more about Carlow's athletic teams.