In the second half of the soccer match Providence lags by two. Three penalty cards have been issued and several boys splayed across the field. But Joe Moisant just stole the ball.
“That’s right, Joey, dance with it!” shouts a fan.
But this team wrestles more than dances.
Joe keeps the ball close and waits. When his opponent lunges in, Joe dos-à-dos around him and dribbles to goal.
Joe Moisant, youngest of six siblings, is far from last on the soccer field. This year alone the league named him most valuable player and junior player of the year. He won the Golden Boot Award for most goals of the season and served as captain for both Providence and his Crossfire premier team. Not bad for your junior year in high school.
In 2010, when Providence won the state championship, his twin brothers, Eric (‘12) and Andrew (‘12), led the team to victory. In fact, all four of Joe’s brothers have gone on to play college soccer. With five boys focused on the same sport, you might expect conflicts and rivalry, but Joe’s dad says, “More than anything they encourage each other.” If you ask his brothers who is the best, they quickly say “Joe, he’s had the most playing time.”
This encouragement carries over to team practices, where Providence Coach Gordon England says, “Joe is by far the best player on our team, yet he puts his teammates first. He’s more likely to give an assist than take the shot himself.” With this attitude, no wonder he earned the respect of his teammates.
Being the youngest in his family has another advantage. At 5’9” and 130 pounds, Joe regularly encounters larger opponents. He says, “Growing up and being the youngest has affected my playing style. I’m fine with going up against people that are bigger and stronger than I am.” Years of wrestling with his brothers have paid big dividends—Joe plays bold and unafraid. At times his temerity even surprises the adults he joins in weekend pick-up games.
Joe’s solid work ethic earned this comment from Coach England, “He is not afraid to work, and he works very hard.” When the other Providence players begin their homework, Joe is still on the field, this time with his premier team where the level of play intensifies. Over the last two years, he has steadily improved and become one of his premier team’s top players.
Some kids grow up in their siblings’ shadow, but not Joe. His brothers and family play a pivotal part in his success. This advantage, mixed with his own hard work, put Joe Moisant in the lead on what some may call a rough and grassy dance floor. And dance he does.
-Published in Terra Firma, Spring 2016