Wide World of Club Sports

Ladies Rugby loses toward end of scrimmage, 15-10

On Saturday, Oct. 18, AU's Women's Rugby club team lost to Salisbury University in Maryland.

A single try toward the end of the match sealed the win for the Sea Gulls, with a final score of 15-10.

The Eagles, following a devastating loss to Penn State last week, are now 1-2 in their Union, and are not likely to qualify for the national tournament this year.

The women have a round robin tournament this weekend starting at 10 a.m. at Kenilworth Field, against Georgetown and George Washington Universities' club teams.


Athletics welcomes equestrian team as club sport

Freshman Lana Ciaramella and sophomore Jessie Loutoo recently formed the Equestrian team, a new club sport that is being recognized by the University and has been listed with the Intercollegiate Horse Show Association.

The team of eight riders - all girls - practice twice a week at Clay Hill Stables in Springdale, Md. with Coach Emmier Prettyman.

"We have a lot of riders generally who are interested, [and] all of them are girls," said Ciaramella.

The team has already competed in two horse shows, scoring team points for AU in both Hunt Seat and Stock Seat with two second-place ribbons and a fifth.

"Everyone on the team is really dedicated to doing this," Ciaramella said.

So far, the team has two team points in English riding and 10 team points for Western riding. As teams gather points, qualifying teams will be able to compete in regional and national competitions.

"At first, the [Athletics Department] was a little skeptical," Ciaramella said, "but when they heard what we had done and we weren't asking for any money, they let us do it."

According to Ciaramella, funding for the team this semester has been about $3,080, which includes show entr?e fees, riding lessons and registration with IHSA. The team hopes that it will receive funding from the University next semester.

Two more horse shows remain at Goucher College and the University of Richmond this semester, and about six are upcoming in the spring semester.


Womens Ice Hockey skates to first win, 9-1

The AU Women's Ice Hockey team recorded the second biggest victory in eight years of hockey history at AU with a 9-1 win over Drexel University on Saturday night.

During Homecoming weekend, before a crowd of 50 cheering, banner-waving fans, this team marked how far it has come since its humble beginnings in 2000.

"It's amazing what just three and a half years can do," said senior Maura O'Brien-Ali.

Starting out with only one experienced hockey player, the Lady Eagles have grown into a team full of veterans.

"There is not a single player that I would hesitate to put on the ice in a crunch situation," Coach Matthew Dumpert said.

More than half of those on the Lady Eagles' 17-player roster recorded a point on Saturday, most notably freshman winger Lucia Walinchus, who tallied a hat trick (three goals) late in the third period.

When asked about her efforts during the game, Walinchus said, "Hockey is about testing your limits. How far, how fast, with how much pain? This year we're going all the way to the top."

During games the young women loudly cheer each other on; teammates call to wake each other up for grueling 7 a.m. practices. If you ask an AU hockey player how she feels about her teammates, she won't just talk about their merits, she'll scream about it: "We rule the ice!" said rookie Liz Yahn.

This 2003-04 season will be the biggest in AU history, including a 17-game schedule, games against University of Virginia and Penn State, a D.C. Tournament on Nov. 1 and a match-up against rival University of Maryland in the MCI Center.

Rebekah Mitter, a freshman goaltender that allowed only one goal on 24 shots, captures the team's tenacity best: "Watch out, 'cause it's a whole new year."

Catch the Lady Eagles this weekend in games against the University of Pennsylvania and North Carolina State.


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