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Justin Sweeney and Cassy Aite – Men’s soccer

Photo credit: Raghad S. Khalil 

Meet outside midfielder Justin Sweeney and striker Cassy Aite, two members of the men’s soccer team. Sweeney is a veteran of six years, while Aite is one of the latest and greatest additions to the roster. The two are soon-to-be Telfer graduates and good friends on and off the pitch.

The Fulcrum: How long have you played soccer?

Justin Sweeney: Since I was five or six.

Cassy Aite: Since I was four.

What do you do to pump up before the game—anything unusual?

JS: Nothing out of the ordinary. Mostly before the game I try and just mellow out. Everybody is super pumped up and ready to go, but I’m really lazy, so I think with warming up and stuff I try to avoid it as much as possible—this is going to sound really bad.

CA: No, I wouldn’t say so. I don’t do anything weird like that. I don’t think anybody does anything weird or unusual before the game. Which soccer club do you support?

JS: Manchester United. I’ve supported them since I was really young, ever since I could figure out what was going on.

CA: I like Real Madrid. I was always a big (Zinedine) Zidane fan growing up. I went to the Santiago Bernabeu Stadium when I was about 12, and that was it for me.

Which soccer film is better: She’s the Man or Bend It Like Beckham?

JS: Bend It Like Beckham.

CA: Who was that in She’s the Man? Amanda Bynes? I’m going to have to give it to Amanda Bynes.

Do you have any nicknames on the field or in the locker room?

JS: Just Cass for short. When we’re yelling at him out on the field it’s kind of hard to say Cassy.

CA: Sweens or Sweener… or Grandpa. Grandpa is the one actually, because he’s been with the team for so long—he’s the old guy.

Do either of you have a funny story about your friend that only the team knows?

JS: Cass likes to have ridiculously huge meals before we play a game. This one time, we had practice early morning and we had a game right after, so we went to (Father & Sons) in between. The guys were giving me a hard time for eating an F&S breakfast, and Cassy came and sat down beside me and ordered the Mikey’s Special, which was the biggest meal on the menu. We finished practice around 11 and then we ran to F&S, ate, and we had to be back at the field by 12. We ended up winning the game 4-0.

CA: Well, after the veteran appreciation night, Justin showed up to practice in stained basketball shorts and I think some running shoes he picked up in the lost and found. But he still showed up to practice. He didn’t go home the night before.

Who would win a 100-metre sprint?

JS: Cassy for sure. Cassy is really fast. He doesn’t like running a lot, but he runs really fast, short distances. I would win the marathon, but he would win the sprint for sure. If you could pick one thing to describe each other, what would it be?

JS: Hard worker.

CA: Sweetheart.

Any parting advice for readers?

JS: You’re going to get knocked down, but you just have to get back up and keep pushing forward. It might take you six years to finish your undergrad degree, but you just got to get up and keep going.