The students of Thomas Aquinas College, California, took a break from their busy academic lives this past Saturday, gathering under a sunny sky for the annual Upper-Under Soccer Games. 

The women took to the field first, the upperclassmen in black and the underclassmen in white. The game began, and continued, dramatically: possession bounced back and forth, propelled by headers and midfield clashes. After a series of offensive drives and defensive counters, the upperclassmen seized two goals before halftime and two more soon after, securing their victory with a final 4-0 score. All the athletes, upper and under alike, enjoyed some post-game refreshments, courtesy of the parents of Elena Walz (’26).

While their female counterparts rested on the sidelines, the men took to the athletic field for a no less exciting competition. Goalie-baiting, slide tackles, and bold drives back and forth raged throughout the first half, which ended with the upperclassmen in a 2-0 lead. After halftime, the underclassmen fought back with a vengeance. In the midst of the battle, the underclassmen nabbed a goal but could not stop their opponents from strengthening and defending their narrow lead to the bitter end, which saw the upperclassmen carry the day 3-1.

Players walked away from the intensity in high spirits, laughing with each other and recounting their favorite moments. “It was so fun!” said Hannah Chadwick (’27), who fought hard for the underclassmen.  “I was just happy to play.”