At the age of three, junior Mason Krupa’s parents registered their youngest son in a local soccer league.
And since the first day he stepped on the field, Krupa’s love for the sport has remained—nearly 20 years simply because he “loved it and kept wanting to play.”
Being the youngest child of three, Krupa found soccer not only enjoyable—a time to gain new friends—but also as a time to connect with family.
“My brother played soccer, so I guess that’s why I got into soccer as well,” he said.
The love of the game is what kept the Pike High School alumnus interested in the sport enough to continue his career in college. Since his sophomore year of high school, Krupa said he knew he wanted to play in college.
He even started looking at a variety of colleges and universities during his sophomore year.
“I wanted to take it up a notch,” Krupa said. “Just compete at the next level and just be a part of something bigger.”
On Krupa’s journey to become a Grizzly, the campus setting served as the decision maker.
“I like the small school feel and just knowing that I could come in and make an immediate impact on the team,” Krupa said.
Now standing at 6 feet and 2 inches, the junior middle fielder is a seasoned collegiate soccer player who attributes much of his success to his early days of playing in travel leagues. The leagues took him and his teammates across the country, even to Disney World.
To this day, Krupa continues to connect with former teammates. Some connections are so close that he sees them on the field, only this time they are wearing the opposing team’s jersey.
“I am still friends with a lot of those guys today,” he said. “Like [Wednesday, I played] against two of my club teammates at Rose-Hulman.”
Throughout his overall soccer career, Krupa said the greatest reward from the sport is the team camaraderie.
As the team’s season starts to unwind, players will have a chance to allow their bodies to heal after a long pre-season and regular season play.
In a game against Mount St. Joseph College on Oct. 15, Krupa suffered an injury that left one of his hips bruised. Yet, through the pain, he still had the dedication to the sport and teammates to push through the pain and play.
“The doctor said it could not get any worse by playing on it, so he gave me medicine,” Krupa said. “I knew it was going to hurt, but I knew it was going to be tolerable so I just kept playing.”
Krupa’s injury this season was his first major injury in his entire soccer career.
Last year, Krupa earned honorable mention All-Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference honors, started all but one game, and posted 12 shots on the season—one of those including a career-high of four shots against Defiance College.
The team will finish out the season with their final game tomorrow on the road at Anderson University at 3:30 p.m.