Men’s soccer team travels to Germany

By Aleksei Pavloff, Sports Editor 

The Ohio Wesleyan men’s soccer team traveled to Germany this past summer to compete against local German clubs while also experiencing a culture different from the U.S.

This is not the first time the OWU soccer team has taken trips overseas. John A. Martin, the head men’s soccer coach, said the trip to Germany was his 13th trip overall while at OWU.

Over the years, the team has been to many places in Europe with the goal of playing good talent.

Twenty-six players went on the trip along with Martin, his wife and two assistant coaches. Martin said only four or five of his current players had been to Europe before.

Players on the team were able to fundraise for the trip and some had to pay out of pocket.

“[Americans] are behind when it comes to soccer,” Martin said, adding that he encourages his team to play up to any level and that an opportunity like this was a good way for the team to prepare for the upcoming season.

One major improvement was the team chemistry, which Martin said was one of his goals.

“They are more skilled and are more organized,” said senior Scott Harmanis who plays center back for the soccer team. “Soccer [in Germany] is a social event.”

The soccer team visited a small town in Germany called Baumholder. According to, Baumholder and Delaware, Ohio became sister cities in May 2011. But the two cities’ history goes back 20 years.

“Baumholder and Delaware have had a relationship for more than 20 years, thanks to the Ohio Wesleyan University men’s soccer team,” stated

During the team’s visit, members of the team got to live with the citizen of Baumholder and stayed their for the majority of the trip. They also visited places like Trier, Heidelberg, Munich and Neuschwanstein. The trip was a mix of sightseeing and competition but Martin had a clear objective.

“My goals go far beyond the soccer field. It’s a cultural trip,” Martin said. “The relationship between our team and the people of Baumholder is very, very strong.”

The team played four German professional teams and also organized a clinic for the people of Baumholder. This experience gave the OWU men’s soccer team a feel of what it is like to play at a professional level, Martin said.

“This trip was probably the best trip we ever had,” Martin said. “The competition across the board was the best we have faced.”

The last two times the teams traveled to Germany, they won the NCAA National championship the following season. They went to Germany in 1997 and won the NCAA National Championship in 1998. The team went again in 2010 and won the championship in 2011.

Martin said the team this year is very young. Thirteen players of the team graduated in May and since then, OWU has recreuited eight freshmen who Martin said “are really good.”

“We are already better than where we were last year,” said Martin

Harmanis said he has high expectations for the team.

“We hope to win the NCAC,” said Harmanis.

This upcoming season will test the Bishops as the team’s schedule includes three top five teams that also made the NCAA tournament.

The OWU men’s team plays Calvin,who made the NCAA tournament last season, on Sept. 2.

Investigation into student death continues

Transcript Staff

The investigation into the death of freshman Luke Gabbert continues to progress as results from the autopsy report become public.

“We have the autopsy report, and no obvious cause of death has been found. No visible traumatic injuries were found and the coroner is now conducting forensic testing for internal injuries and also for toxicology, the results of which are awaited,” said Captain Adam Moore of the Delaware Police Department.

Moore said he cannot pinpoint as to when those other tests will be received but they do not think foul play was a factor in Gabbert’s death..

As for where the investigation is headed next, Moore said they are looking into what Gabbert’s whereabouts were prior to him being found and also looking into who he may have been with.

A pedestrian called police about 10:30 a.m. Saturday, Feb. 6, after noticing a body in Delaware Run creek south of a building the first block of South Franklin Street near OWU’s campus.

He said investigators are trying to piece together a full timeline of Gabbert’s activities between the night of Feb. 5 and the discovery of his body.

Anyone who came into contact with Gabbert on the night of Feb. 5 or the morning of Feb. 6 is asked to call the Delaware Police Department at 740-203-1111.

The Transcript will continue to update this story as more information becomes available

Leaving a legacy: Colton Bloecher

Colton Bloecher heads the ball during a game with Mary Washington University. Photo by Spenser Hickey.

It’s been a good four years for senior Colton Bloecher, star midfielder for the men’s soccer team. He received All-American and Academic All-American honors in 2013 and 2014 and was the team scoring leader for the past three; he’s twice been North Coast Athletic Conference Offensive Player of the Year. This interview has been edited for length.

The Transcript: Could you talk about what that was like, going into the national championship as a freshman?

Colton Bloecher: It’s definitely something you don’t realize until you’re a senior how big it was. My first game that I played in here was against Messiah, they came here, they were number one and Roy Rike was completely packed and I didn’t realize at the time how big of a game that was, which was probably good for me as a freshman, but I think it’s a lot easier as a freshman.

T: You’ve gotten a lot of awards the past few years…could you talk about what that’s like, how it’s impacted your playing?

CB: Yeah, that was a goal of mine coming in, was to be an All-American and then when I got it as a junior to be a two-time All-American but I think that my ultimate goal was to win a national championship as a senior, which we obviously got close to doing but not quite.

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T: You’re also an Academic All-American, so what was it like having to balance soccer and classes all four years?

CB: Jay makes that easy, I think, because he’ll tell you that if there’s ever a conflict the academics come first but at the same time I think that’s just a personality thing and I think that especially guys who are good in the classroom and are willing to put in the hours, that success translates on the field.

T: Jay Martin is probably one of if not the best coaches in college soccer history, what’s it been like to play for him for four years?

CB: It’s been everything I could have wanted from a college soccer coach. I’ve worked for him, I’ve been here all the time and he’s a great coach, a great teacher and for me, he’s become a great friend so I don’t think you get that in many places so that’s been awesome for me.

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