Fifteen years ago, Terry Stefankiewicz called up his old college coach at Indiana University and was granted a simple favor. His former coach, six-time national championship winner Jerry Yeagley, would bring his squad up to Fort Wayne, Indiana to play in the first ever Soccer Showcase. Notre Dame, Duke, and other soccer stalwarts followed suit.
That was in 2000. The event, now known as the Shindigz National Soccer Festival, is poised to enter its fifteenth year.
From Aug. 21 to 22, IPFW’s Hefner Soccer Fields on California Road will host some of the nation’s top collegiate programs, as well as over 40 high school teams. Indiana University, Xavier University, and Michigan State University are each ranked within the top 25 NCAA teams in the country and are slotted to play at this year’s festival.
“We think we have the best rounded festival we’ve ever had,” said Stefankiewicz.
That’s coming from the guy who’s brought a professional team and multiple NCAA National Champions to the event in the past.
The marquee matchup for the weekend has to be eight-time national champion Indiana and perennial powerhouse Marquette. They’ll play under the lights on Saturday night.
The full schedule of college games reads as follows:
Friday, Aug. 21
5:30 pm: Indiana Tech University vs. Goshen University (women)
6:00 pm: IPFW University vs. Michigan State University (men)
7:30 pm: Trine University vs. Anderson University (women)
8:00 pm: Xavier University vs. The Ohio State University (men)
Saturday, Aug. 22
5:30 pm: University of Saint Francis vs. Indiana Tech University (men)
7:30 pm: Indiana University vs. Marquette University (men)
First glances are deceiving. Shindigz isn’t just a soccer festival. Live music, a beer tent, two-on-two sumo soccer, and more await festivalgoers.
“It is a family-oriented festival,” said Stefankiewicz, “it’s something for everybody.”
Tickets will be available starting Aug. 1 at Connolly’s Do It Best and Soccer Plus. Weekend passes are $5 for kids and $10 for adults.