OTTERBURNE, MB – On Sept. 28, college athlete Andry Giesbrecht showed he is taking the NCCAA men’s soccer league by storm, earning Athlete of the Week status for scoring 12 goals in three games.
The 20-year-old plays for Providence College in Otterburne, MB, and to date has scored 29 goals in eight games and with eight assists. The men’s soccer coach, Martin Ward, describes him as a hard worker and a good team player who plays his position very well. “He is a very efficient goal scorer, converting a high percentage of his chances and punishing any defensive errors.”
Giesbrecht scored seven goals in their 10-3 win against Pillsbury on Sept. 13 and five goals in games against St. Boniface and North Central University. “As with most left-footed players, he has a natural flowing style to his play,” said Ward, and with the team off to its best season ever (8-0) and playing some entertaining soccer Giesbrecht has quickly become an integral addition. But Ward also noted Giesbrecht’s modesty as someone who, “just loves to play soccer.”
Andry will be leaving for Newfoundland next week to play with Hellas in the Manitoba Major Soccer League, the team representing Manitoba at Nationals. As for the Providence season Giesbrecht said, “I do not want to make predictions of what will happen or what will not happen in the next couple of weeks because you never know what the future holds. What I do know is that if we keep our heads and play as a team I am sure this season will be a great success.”
The Providence freshman grew up in a small town in Paraguay where he would watch his dad play soccer until he began to play at the age of three. From there, soccer became his most passionate sport. “I grew up living it everyday,” said Giesbrecht. At 16, his family made the move from Paraguay to Niverville, MB. Giesbrecht is also fluent in Low German, High German, Spanish, English and some Portuguese.
There was little question when the chance to play college soccer came up. “I love to score goals, I like to compete and win,” said Giesbrecht. “I would not say I have a secret. What I like to do is score goals and before every game I take my time and imagine myself scoring. I try to be focused and I would say I am an opportunistic striker.”
Giesbrecht has definitely been scoring well for the Providence team, but besides tearing up the soccer field he has also found a way to balance school, work, car troubles, friends, family and faith. “There is no other way around it; to be successful in each department you have to do quite a bit of time-planning. It is extremely busy, but if you look back afterwards and see what you have achieved I think it is definitely worth it.”
Giesbrecht also isn’t satisfied with doing mediocre schoolwork. He strives to do great in every single class while playing sports, but admitted it can be a challenge to make school more important than soccer.
On receiving the Athlete of the Week award, Giesbrecht thanked his teammates for their support in getting this award. “I feel very fortunate to be in this position and receive such an award. It is for the team, and thank you to Coach Ward for believing in me and giving me the chance to prove what I can do.”
Faith is also an integral part of life and soccer for Giesbrecht. “To me, I believe God gave me this skill and there is nothing better than playing soccer with a group of Christian guys. They have been a great example to me and we look up to each other on the field,” says Giesbrecht. “Sometimes things do not go as planned, but we keep believing in each other and we have to remember that we are representing the love of Jesus while playing the beautiful game of soccer.”
Providence College is a Christian liberal arts college, committed to exploring Christianity amidst denominational and cross-cultural diversity. It offers accredited undergraduate degree programs in the areas of Biblical and theological studies, youth leadership, communications, and many more. Providence College values strong academics and provides an intellectually hospitable community promoting an attitude of free and open inquiry. Providence graduates serve with Christian integrity and character in their home communities, as well as global humanitarian efforts. Providence College is located in Otterburne, Manitoba, Canada.