Club sports at Colorado State University hit new heights this year with three teams winning national championships. Women’s soccer, men’s polo and men’s lacrosse all won top national titles on the heels of successful seasons.
"This has been the most successful year we’ve ever had in club sports," said Bill Hill, club sports coordinator for the university’s Recreational Sports program. "I don’t think there’s another university in the nation that has had three teams winning national competitions in one year.
"The success of these programs shows the high caliber of student athletes and coaches at Colorado State," Hill said. "There is a tremendous dedication to playing and competing at top levels in these sports, because the athletes receive no scholarships, they pay dues and all traveling expenses, and the coaches are volunteers who receive minimal if any compensation – other than the thrill of winning big."
About 1,400 students in all compete in 34 club and recreational sports at Colorado State. Following are summaries of the teams that won national titles this year.
The Gold team of the Colorado State’s women’s soccer club won the National Championship in November – and earned their third national title in four years – by beating the University of Michigan 1-0 in an overtime match at Georgia Southern University.
The Rams were led by all-tournament team members junior Jenny Kelly, freshman Julie Trommeter and junior Erin Ortega, who received her second Tournament Most Valuable Player award in three years.
The team rode a strong defense and excellent goaltending as they gave up two goals in six games to win their third national title in the championship game of the National Intramural-Recreational Sports Association National Championship.
Under the direction of head coach Bob Seebohar, the Rams wrapped up their season with a 17-2-1 record.
The soccer team competes as a member of the Rocky Mountain Intercollegiate Soccer Association. The two teams in the club are Green and Gold, with 18 members in each team.
The Colorado State men’s polo team won the national championship in April, completing an undefeated season by beating Texas A&M in the finals. In addition, team captain James Seward was named Intercollegiate Player of the Year by Player’s Edition Magazine, a division of Polo Magazine; he also was named all-American for the second year and won the Sportsmanship Award for the third year in a row.
Last year, the men’s and women’s teams advanced to Nationals. Both teams played well, with several players earning awards and top recognition.
In recent years, Colorado State polo has gained national exposure, drawing outstanding men and women players nationwide. In spring semester 1996, the club played in the Regional Tournament, a qualifier for nationals. Several other teams participated and the women’s team again qualified for the National Championships in Texas.
In 1990 and 1991, the team proved it was playing at competitive collegiate levels by winning two consecutive National Championships. And in May 1989, both the men’s and women’s teams qualified for the National Championship games and both earned Reserve National Champion titles.
Forty club members and 8 team members practice and compete in the Polo Club and travel to competitions throughout the United States.
The men’s lacrosse team won the United States Intercollegiate Lacrosse Associates National Championship this spring by beating Simon Fraser in St. Louis.
The Rams went into the tournament seeded No. 3 by U.S. Lacrosse, and defeated the University of Tennessee 14-6 in quarter-final action and edged No. 2-seeded Sanoma State 12-11 in the semi-final game.
Simon Fraser defeated Illinois, Michigan and Cal-Berkeley to make it to the championship game against Colorado State.
Rams lacrosse coach Flip Naumburg led Colorado State to a 17-4 record and was named the USILA Associated Coach of the Year. The all-tournament team included sophomore Mike Roth, who was selected Most Valuable Player after scoring 7 goals in the championship game. Mike Napollili had 4 goals and 3 assists.
For more information on club sports at Colorado State, contact Bill Hill, club sports coordinator, at (970) 491-2116.