This past week, Mason had the honor of having one of its freshman soccer players named the CAA Rookie Player of the Week.

Photo by Amy Rose

Ghiles Harmouche, midfield for the team, scored two goals in two games against St. Peter’s and St. Francis.  Upon hearing about this nomination, Harmouche said he was proud to be an asset to the team and that the title helped his confidence as an incoming player.

Harmouche is a Fairfax native and knew he wanted to stay close to home. Luckily, he already had contact with a few Mason soccer players in leagues around the area and he knew that Mason fit perfectly into his career as a soccer player.

“I like Mason’s style of play; other schools like to play chase, or play with the ball at their heads, but I prefer the ball at my feet. That’s where I am best, and I saw that same style of play in Mason’s team,” said Harmouche.

He has also come to really appreciate the camaraderie among the team. Harmouche said they are extremely close, and “like a family, we help each other out, work hard at soccer, and have fun, as well.”

Harmouche has played soccer for as long as he can remember.

“When I was three years old, I would go to my dad’s soccer games and play at halftime with him and his friends,” said Marmouche. “It is the only sport I have ever played and it is my dream to be a professional player.”

Soccer is definitely a family affair: his father played soccer at Georgia Tech and taught the game to Harmouche from a young age, sharing stories of his own experience with soccer.  He taught the values of hard work and dedication that Harmouche embodies to this day.

Growing up, Harmouche played soccer in every conceivable way: in club, at school and eventually in D.C. United Academy team.

The academy teams are for the best players, and professional soccer teams run the programs to train young soccer players for professional leagues in the future. Now that Harmouche is at Mason, his core values of hard work and dedication are critical to his contributions to the team.

He abides by a quote from head coach Greg Andrulis: “Do your work and do a little of your buddy’s work.”

Harmouche’s sense of commitment to the team is outstanding, as he knows that it is the best way to be successful.

“We have a strong freshman team and sometimes, we come out firing, but in the game against Navy, we came out lax,” said Harmouche. “This was a major ego check and showed us that we still have to work hard to be the best. I know our team can win a CAA title and even an NCAA title, as long as we each continue to do our part and some of our teammates’ work, as well.”

Harmouche is majoring in athletic training, but is not limiting himself, as he is also considering teaching. As for now, his focus is soccer and he hopes to continue to be a valuable asset to his team in hopes of reaching a CAA title and NCAA title.

“It encompasses both the athletic aspect and intellectual aspect of sports so well, and everyone loves it– it is the world’s game,” said Harmouche when asked why soccer is different from other sports.