Gettysburg College’s club sports teams can be proud of their hard work in 2012. Nearly 300 athletes participated in seven club sports this year: Equestrian, Fencing, Ice Hockey, Men’s Rugby, Women’s Rugby, Ultimate Frisbee, and Tae Kwon Do. Plans are underway for two more club sports, Water Polo and Archery, with competition set to begin as early as next semester. Sanctioned by the Department of Campus Recreation, club sports are student-run organizations that provide opportunities for competition, leadership, and teamwork.
“Club sports are a great outlet for students,” said Club Sport Director Chase Straub ’07. “With programs ranging from highly competitive to instructional, there is truly something for everyone. My goal is to empower students who are passionate about a sport that the college does not offer at the intercollegiate level.”
Beating the odds
In an inspiring display of determination, the Men’s Rugby team bounced back after an unfortunate start to their season. Earlier this year, the team had trouble finding and securing a coach, which forced the players to forfeit their first two games.
After coming under the direction of Coach Josh Bound, the team won every remaining game and earned a spot at the Eastern Pennsylvania Rugby Union (EPRU) playoffs. At the playoffs, which took place in early November, the team defeated Ursinus College and Widener University.
While these hard-fought victories represented a great feat, the biggest accomplishment for the team was still to come. On Nov. 17, the players faced Susquehanna University, who came in with an unblemished record of 7-0. After falling behind in the first half, the team made an exciting comeback in the final minutes and won with a score of 28-24. With this win, they clinched a spot in the national tournament this spring.
“We have incredibly high hopes for nationals in the spring,” said Captain Mike Molinaro ’13, who will lead the team to Virginia on March 23 to face Christopher Newport University. If they win in Virginia, the team will move on to compete in the Final Four in Boulder, Colorado this April.
“The team has grown so much, in both confidence and skill level and we all truly believe we can make the final push to Colorado. As a senior, captain, and a four-year starter I think that making it to nationals is an incredible opportunity and leaves a legacy of excellence for the younger guys to strive for in years to come.”
Sportsmanship on and off the playing field
In addition to stellar performances on the field, several club sports teams have made an effort to get involved with community organizations.
The Men’s Ice Hockey team paired up with the YWCA of Gettysburg and Adams County to help coordinate the ENCORE Breast Cancer Awareness 5K on Oct. 13. Members of the team sold t-shirts at CUB tables in the weeks leading up to the event and served as street marshals on the day of the race. Through their fundraising efforts they were able to donate over $1,000 to the local YWCA in support of breast cancer research and awareness.
Led by Coach Eric Esser and Assistant Coach Mike Rogusky, the team had its best start to a season in recent history with huge wins over LaSalle University, Lafayette College, The College of New Jersey, Princeton University, and Bucknell University. They are currently 13-4 overall and 10-0 in conference play.
“The program has really developed in the past few years and we have a good mix of senior leadership as well as talented underclassmen and dedicated coaches,” said Captain Niall Hines ‘13. “We hope to have continued success next semester and will hopefully bring home a championship.”
The Gettysburg Equestrian Team (GET) has also had a standout season. For the first time ever, GET competed as one of 17 teams in the Tournament of Champions, a non-sanctioned exhibition series held at Goucher College. Later in the semester, GET beat out Penn State University to be named "High Point Team" at Wilson College.
Despite a demanding travel schedule, GET has maintained a strong presence in Adams County as well. In addition to their continued work at the local SPCA, the team is currently coordinating a group of team members to volunteer at Hoffman Homes for Youth, a psychiatric residential treatment facility in Littlestown. After completing several training sessions, thirteen members of the team have started volunteering with the therapeutic horsemanship program and plan to become even more involved next semester.
Captain Greer Luce ’13 has high hopes for her last semester with GET: “Looking to next semester, our goals include being high point team in our region; having riders qualify for regionals, zones, and nationals; and, as always, improving in our riding and sportsmanship.”
Winning seasons for women’s teams
The Ferocious Chickpeas, Gettysburg College’s Women’s Ultimate Frisbee team, ended their season with a stunning 29-0 record under the leadership of President Jenny Donoghue ’13 and Captain Sarah Putnam ‘14. The team had five tournament victories and beat out teams from both Division III and Division I schools in New York, Pennsylvania and West Virginia.
Donoghue is looking forward to playoff season in the spring, and hopes the team will make it to the national championship tournament at the end of May.
“We’ve been quite close in previous years, but this year, we have an awesome group of players who possess the commitment and enthusiasm necessary for us to do extremely well in the postseason,” said Donoghue.
“Our fall season was all about having fun and working hard to improve our game, and I think that was what made us as successful as we were. We have a lot of talent on our team, but we play because we love the sport, and we love to play it with each other.”
The Women’s Rugby team had a successful season as well. Now in his fifth year, Coach Jeff Cook led the team to a 4-2 record. This secured the team a spot at the EPRU Final Four, held at Susquehanna University earlier this semester. After a hard fight, the team fell to Albright University, the eventual champions, in the semi-finals.
Founded in 1832, Gettysburg College is a highly selective four-year residential college of liberal arts and sciences with a strong academic tradition. Alumni include Rhodes Scholars, a Nobel laureate, and other distinguished scholars. The college enrolls 2,600 undergraduate students and is located on a 200-acre campus adjacent to the Gettysburg National Military Park in Pennsylvania.
Article by: Liz Williams '13, communications & marketing intern
Contact: Nikki Rhoads, senior assistant director of communications, 717.337.6803