Point Park University's Student-Run Newspaper

Point Park Globe

Point Park University's Student-Run Newspaper

Point Park Globe

Point Park University's Student-Run Newspaper

Point Park Globe

Senior soccer star Philipp Harder shares his journey from Germany to Pittsburgh

Pioneers senior midfielder Philipp Harder has had an astounding start to the season for the men’s soccer team. Harder is in his second year with the Pioneers completing his masters in business administration and has already contributed six goals and one assist in a total of five games this year.


The Pioneers men’s soccer team is 3-2 overall and recently made a trip to Florida last weekend where they ended up losing both games. The first game was a 5-2 loss to Southeastern despite Harder scoring two goals. Their second and last game in the Sunshine State was a close battle in a 2-1 loss to Warner. Although the losses are difficult to get past, it did not stop the team growing from these defeats.


Harder grew up in Kiel, Germany, where soccer is one of their top sports. 


“In Germany, it’s unlike the U.S. soccer; soccer is sport number one,” Harder said. “Basically, everyone grows up playing soccer.”


Since Harder was surrounded by soccer in his early childhood, some would think it was an easy choice for him to pick it as his number one sport. Yet tennis is also a favorite of Harder’s.


“I decided to play soccer because I liked to be with my friends more when I was younger,” Harder said. “I didn’t regret it”. 


He also added that there’s nothing better than being with a team as a group effort. 


“[Through] soccer you meet your friends,” Harder said. “It’s a team sport, team dynamics is what I like and [is] most important.”


Getting to play and perform at a high level in college athletics is not easy. Harder noted that It takes hard work and sacrifices. When talking about his list of role models, there was a special place for his dad. 


“When I was younger, he used to drive me everywhere and take me to games, practices, it didn’t matter- the weather- or how far it was,” Harder said. “He was definitely the inspiration. He was always very honest with me. He pushed me but didn’t put pressure on me at all. He let me decide what I want to do for myself and I’m very thankful for that”.


The beginning of his college athletic career didn’t start at Point Park. He got his bachelor’s degree at Westcliff University. He had a friend that transferred in from Point Park to Westcliff who told him all about the university, the city and Pittsburgh as a whole. Harder was looking for a spot to get his master’s degree in business administration, and everything about Point Park really got him excited, especially the soccer stadium.


“We have one of the best stadiums in college and in soccer in America with Highmark Stadium; it’s an amazing field,” Harder said. 


Harder is absolutely dominating the stat sheet at this point of the early season in the River States Conference. Harder has six goals, which leads the conference by two, has 13 total points that leads the conference by five and a total of 20 shots. Along with this, he also has two game-winning goals out of the five games played for the Pioneers. 


“I’m just happy to help the team,” Harder said. “I’m a senior so there is some responsibility to lead the team and help the team and I’m happy I can do that. My teammates are a big part. They are the ones giving me the assist or putting me in good positions; it’s all thanks to them”


With Harder in his senior season, it will also be his last in college sports. Winning is his top priority. 


“I just want to win,” Harder said. “I want to win every game.”


He also added that he just wanted to enjoy the little things and cherish his time with teammates in his last season


“I just want to enjoy it like everyday practice,” Harder said. “Sometimes you take it for granted and you think about waking up in the morning to do weights, then straight to the field after, it’s like I’d rather sleep in, but not for me. Something just switched and I realized next year, when I talk to my friends who graduated, they miss the little things.”

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