POSTED: Saturday, March 2, 2013 - 11:47am
UPDATED: Monday, March 4, 2013 - 3:15pm
EDINBURG, TEXAS (KVEO NEWS CENTER 23) — The University Of Texas Pan American athletic program is getting a big boost with the addition of men's and women's soccer.
These old photos show former college players engaged in an exciting game of soccer. For those who may not be aware, Soccer became part of men's athletics at the Edinburg Institution in 1970. Seventeen years later, in 1987, the University was invited to join the NCAA Division 1 and it successfully competed against other teams over the next ten years. Although the sport was eliminated at some point , men's soccer is returning to UTPA now thanks to the support of UTPA's current administration and a major donor, The announcement was made during news conference in Mid February. Officials also disclosed that women's soccer was also coming to campus.
"This is something that we had a void in the fall. We don't have soccer, we don't have football and now with adding men's and women's soccer it's going to fill that It's going to create is a lot of Bronc spirit A Lot of Bronc Pride."
UTPA President Robert Nelsen is just as excited to have men's and women's soccer be part of UT Pan Americans athletic program. He shared his enthusiasm with the crowd of supporters.
"the announcement of out ability to maintain our youth in the Valley here at Pan Am, I think that puts roots much deeper into the Valley and it gets us much better community presence. Plus, it's something that we're going to be able to build pride, Bronc Pride."
Nelsen, King and Vice President for University Advancement Veronica Gonzales also expressed their sincere expressed their sincere gratitude to the owner of L & F Distributors Val La Mantia Piesen for her contribution to the new soccer program. The $275,00 dollar donation is believed to be one of the largest ever made in the history of UTPA athletics that will go towards student scholarships.
"it means that she believes in us. She believes in mission of the University and she's willing to invest in the university."
The endowed scholarship fund was made in honor of La Mantia's Late husband. William D. Peisen who died in an airplane accident four years ago. Her husband loved sports along with their five children all who played soccer.
"We really felt that this money should stay locally for kids in this area so that they not only can have a good education but they can continue their education by playing sports at the same time."