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Marshmallows key ingredient in great soccer rivalry

Updated: Wednesday, October 16 2013, 01:45 PM CDT

Posted by: Jason Bristol

ELIZABETHTOWN -- The key ingredient to one of the best traditions in all of college sports?


When Elizabethtown College and Messiah College meet each year in soccer, the marshmallows start flying -- everywhere.

Where else is linesman considered a moving target? During this game, it's accepted; not to mention, expected at 'must-see' event called the Marshmallow Bowl.

"It's on the bucket list," said one Elizabethtown student. "It's on the bucket list."

On the students' shopping list? Mini marshmallows, Jet-Puffed and Great Value brands. They all work.

Students used to throw marshmallows after the home team scored its first goal. Now they don't stop throwing them.

"We got to pace ourselves," added another student. "We'll have to restock at halftime."

Messiah, ranked No. 3 in Division III, defeated Elizabethtown on Saturday, 3-0, in front of a near-record crowd at Elizabethtown.

Why marshmallows?

Messiah apparently found an Etown scouting report in 1987, which inside labeled the Falcons as being "soft." The next time Messiah beat the Blue Jays -- for a spot in the NCAA Final Four -- Messiah fans started throwing marshmallows at Etown's fans and players while chanting, 'Who's soft now?' according to a story relayed to Steve King, Messiah's assistant athletics director.

Now students throw them at anyone, including aiming for players on their own team.

The game's tradition has become a sticky situation for both schools, however. Each has tried in the past to ban marshmallows from the game.

That move hasn't worked then -- and it wouldn't work now. "We would still bring the marshmallows," said a student.

This year, Elizabethtown College decided to let the fans have their fun.

It just wishes they would eat it, too.

Marshmallows key ingredient in great soccer rivalry

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