First-Year, Dual-Sport Athlete Lets His Play Do the Talking
Kris Brackmann | Oct. 10, 2014, 9:14 p.m.
Towering over the defenders at an impressive 6'4'', with lightening-quick feet and a graceful touch, is Claremont-Mudd-Scripps' (5-4-1, 5-4-1 SCIAC) forward Michael Wagenveld CM '18.
Some people who know Wagenveld describe him as a quiet guy on the surface, but those who have seen him play on the pitch know he competes with such dominant force that he is not to be reckoned with.
Wagenveld leads the Stags with five goals so far this season, a remarkable feat for a first-year. He scored his first collegiate hat trick in CMS's match against California Institute of Technology and, equally as impressive, scored two goals against Occidental within a one-minute span. Despite his shy demeanor off the field, Wagenveld’s talent screams for attention.
Interim head coach Sam Ullman praises the first-year for stepping up to his opportunities and contributing humbly to the team.
“He is a smart player,” Ullman said. “But he is also a player that doesn’t show what he has by his facial expression or by the way he carries himself. He lets his game do the talking.”
Teammate Elijah Lichtenberg CM ’17 also commented on how Wagenveld leads by example to take care of business.
“When he gets on the ball he shows his presence and is extremely dominant in that way,” Lichtenberg said. “He definitely plays for the team rather than being a selfish player.”
Adjusting to the faster pace and physical demands of collegiate soccer from the high school ranks is no easy process for any first-year, but Wagenveld says that he feels settled into and comfortable playing with the Stags.
“I feel like I’ve risen to the occasion and feel comfortable playing at this level,” Wagenveld said.
Wagenveld has always held himself to high standards, from the time he first began playing soccer at age four to present day. Wagenveld attributes his competitive nature to his father, the man who “helped make [him] the athlete he [is] today.”
Wagenveld’s father was a decathlete in college, and it’s no surprise that the younger Wagenveld has inherited some of his athleticism. But his father wore many other hats in the development of Michael's athletic career, in acting as his son's soccer and track coach, teacher and biggest role model.
At Calvin Christian High School in Escondido, Calif., Wagenveld exceeded his own expectations in more than just soccer. In each of his sophomore-through-senior seasons, Wagenveld earned all-league titles and was named team MVP his junior and senior years. Despite these impressive feats, his proudest achievement did not occur on the pitch.
Wagenveld also excels in the pole vault, an event in which he set a school record and became his high school's first state qualifier. When he competes for the CMS track and field team this year, Wagenveld is determined to surpass that mark, staying true to his ambitious goals.
“I expect a lot out of myself,” he said.
From breaking high school records to leading the Stag offense, Wagenveld has proved he is not afraid of any challenge. But for the moment, his biggest challenge is to overcome the shoulder injury he received in CMS’ match against Chapman earlier this week. This is a significant blow to the team, but Wagenveld is hopeful that by taking time off to recover he will be healthy again to contribute during playoffs.
In the meantime, the Stags will have to make up for the loss of their key target man when they take on University of California, Santa Cruz (7-4-1), Saturday, Oct. 11, at noon on Pritzlaff Field.