Junior goalkeeper Samuel Spiegel and junior centre back Collin Maris are roommates, but they’ve found themselves to be so much more than that.
Many students find it hard to believe that the two weren’t always roommates, but it’s true. Maris lived on 3rd East Wengatz during his freshman year with former Taylor soccer player, AJ Gallup. Meanwhile, Spiegel stayed on 2nd West Wengatz with no roommate to start the year and eventually roomed with Sam Yeager, who was a senior at the time.
“I was originally paired with Josh Brown from England, but after about a week into preseason, he decided that school in the (United) States wasn’t for him,” Spiegel said.
So in a horse-themed room smaller than the dorm rooms in Wengatz Hall, a friendship began.
Every year during the preseason, the men’s soccer team takes a trip to play exhibition games against other teams and build team chemistry. During Maris and Spiegel’s freshman year, the team took their trip to Cody, WY.
“When I say everything was horse-themed, I mean it was everything,” Maris said. “The blankets had horses on them, and so did the wallpaper along with our sheets, blankets and pillows.”
Thus, the friendship began. At the time, Maris didn’t quite see Spiegel as a roommate,but someone he liked to hang out with.
It was at a bowling alley where Spiegel and Maris finally decided to become roommates at the start of sophomore year.
“We had always kind of talked about it like maybe we should, maybe we shouldn’t,” Maris said. “But after talking it out and realizing that we would love it, we decided that us being roommates was a great idea.”
Once they became roommates, there was no looking back. Spiegel explained how he and Maris just flow and bring something unique to the roommate experience.
Being roommates along with teammates also presents a unique opportunity for Spiegel and Maris. When watching a TU men’s soccer game, fans may notice the two talking to each other after their team breaks a huddle.
“We have always said the same thing to each other before every game,” Maris said. “I don’t know when we started doing it but we always say ‘All things through Christ,’ and we use it as a reminder for who we are playing for.”
That theme is encouraged through all sports at Taylor University: the idea that athletes do not play for themselves, but for Christ,and recognizing that they can only play because God gave them their talent.
Being teammates and living with each other brings along a unique set of challenges that make life in a dorm interesting.
“We do our best not to bring soccer back with us to Wengatz,” Spiegel said. “If one of us makes a bad play or a mistake, our job as teammates is to encourage and not tear down.”
Spiegel also explained that high school soccer has a completely different dynamic compared to college soccer. Living with your teammates 24/7 as opposed to only five days a week is a very different experience.
Spiegel also believes that the added chemistry of being roommates with his teammate helps them both on the field.
“I feel like it just gives us an added assurance that no matter what happens on the field, I know he’s got my back, and he knows I got his,” Spiegel said.
Spiegel and Maris are so much more than just roommates. Maris believes that there is no word to describe his friendship with Spiegel. At the end of the day, they are roommates and teammates, and by the grace of God they met each other.