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Unsung sports, unsung heroes
Did you know that Quinnipiac University has 17 men’s and women’s teams who compete inter-collegiant each year? Probably not. The main focus is on the high profile sports such as men’s and women’s basketball, hockey, lacrosse, soccer, baseball, and softball. Many students, along with alumni and parents, come to see these athletes compete against other universities. These sports are the ones most watched on television, read about in newspapers, and listened to on the radio. But these aren’t the only teams on campus and they aren’t the only players who have heart and desire to win and compete for the school.
The women’s field hockey team is one of the best unknown teams. They went undefeated last season against conference opponents, the only team ever to do that in the history of the NEC, and finished the season 12-8, tying for the best record in school history. They have won the league title three seasons in a row and have been projected to win it yet again, receiving two out of six, first place votes in the preseason coach’s poll. The Bobcats lost NEC Player of the Year from 2002, Courtney Ryan, but have returned four All-NEC players and with a strong recruiting class, look to rein supreme on the top of the NEC mountain again. The season starts on September 2 at Amherst, Massachusetts against Maryland.
The tennis courts outside the newly revamped Recreation Center aren’t just there for students to play on. They are home to both the men’s and women’s tennis squads.
The women’s team, lead this season by captains Kim Piazza and Danielle Rautenburg, will try and improve on last year’s success when they advanced to the NEC championship. Although it was a day of disappointment, losing 4-0, it was a day of learning and experience as the lady Bobcats now know what it takes to win and will use that knowledge to surpass last year.
The men’s tennis team also had considerable success last season. The Bobcats advanced to the NEC semi-finals where they were done in by UMBC 4-0. The team finished 8-10 but with its run in the NEC tournament and its heart the team looks to build upon last season and advance to the NEC finals this year. The team returns seven starters including number one and two starters Justin Worthy and Eric Raymundo. The team also recruited and signed Michael Racioppo and Andrew Chan over the spring, and will begin play this season.
The men’s and women’s cross country teams have been running over the competition lately. With a win on Saturday against visiting Fairfield, both the men’s and women’s teams started the season off on the right foot. The men took the first five places in their meet, and the women took the first three in their respective meet. The men tallied a perfect score of 15 while the women had an equally impressive score of 17.
Senior Thomas Martin, who won the race for the men, did it in 17:24 on the 500 meter course. Freshman Aaron Seiler finished seventh with an impressive time of 17:47 for first time collegiant competitor.
On the women’s side, Sophomore Danielle Green won for the women in a time of 20:25. The women took five of the first six places.
The men’s golf team is back in action this year with a new found attitude for success. Trying to build upon a ninth place last year at the NEC championship, the team has reloaded this year with four new freshmen, Daniel Gruneburg,
Daniel Hart, Matthew Heath, and Steven Velardi. Sophomore Craig Cyr will look to build upon his 32nd place finish at last year’s championship and move into the top 20. A team as competitive as this can’t be held down. The enthusiasm on the team should help drive them into NEC championship contention.
Although you may not have seen these teams play on campus, they are here and they are making big waves in the NEC. They don’t get a lot of press but that’s because they aren’t high profile sports. But that doesn’t mean they don’t work as hard as or even harder than the athletes who play the sports that are in the lime light. So come out and show your support, you never know, you could find your new favorite on campus sport.