Colorado State Students
Published January 2007
Although varsity sports at Colorado State are big-ticket events, student-run Sport Clubs host teams that are just as competitive – and many that are nationally known.
Recognized as one of the strongest programs in the country, Sport Clubs includes 28 programs in which more than 1,200 student athletes are involved in competition, instruction, and recreation activities. Last year, 23 of the teams traveled out of state to compete at regional and national competitions.
Following are just a few highlights of Sport Clubs recent successes.
Colorado State won its third consecutive national championship on the diamond last spring. The Rams defended their title with a 3-2 victory over Penn State, finishing the season 31-10 overall and 17-1 in Rocky Mountain Conference play.
After beating Nebraska in the Mid-America Regional tournament at CSU in May, the Rams were seeded No. 2 in the national tournament in Niles, Ohio, behind Penn State.
To reach the championship game, CSU defeated the University of Dayton, the University of Wisconsin-Madison and the University of Oregon. It was CSU’s sixth straight appearance in the National Club Baseball Association’s World Series.
CSU men’s lacrosse team downed rival University of Colorado 8-7 to win its fourth national championship in May. The Rams reeled off three goals in five minutes in the fourth quarter to secure the come-from-behind win.
Colorado State also won Men’s Division Intercollegiate Association titles in 1999, 2001, and 2003.
The Rams lacrosse program, in its 40th year, has emerged as a national powerhouse over the past decade, with Flip Naumburg in his 10th season as coach.
Alex Smith, assistant coach, notes that Naumburg gives the team consistency and stability. "We’re pretty well known in the lacrosse world," Smith says.
Colorado State also is dominant in the Rocky Mountain region, winning the Rocky Mountain Lacrosse Conference championship in 2000, 2002, 2003, and 2004.
The women’s lacrosse team posted a 24-2 record on the way to a third-place national finish. The Rams outscored opponents 37-11 in the first two rounds of the national tournament before falling to fourth-seeded Michigan in the semifinals.
CSU won the Rocky Mountain Women’s Lacrosse League title for the third straight year and won the second annual "Battle of the Rockies" against the University of Colorado.
The Rams were ranked No. 3 in the nation heading into the 2006-07 season. The team has reached the national tournament the past three years, finishing second in 2004. Just four years ago, the Rams were unranked.
A perennial contender for the national title, the Colorado State women’s soccer team headed into this fall’s Rocky Mountain Intercollegiate Soccer League season as one of the top-ranked teams in the nation and finished the year in the final eight at the national championships.
The team came within a whisker of the national title in last year, losing a 2-1 overtime decision to Michigan State in the championship final.
"We’re usually pretty good competitors for the national title, but last year was the best that we’ve done in recent times," says Renee Kreft, the team’s president and a junior team member. She adds that the team attracts quality players from across the country.
The women’s polo team lost only twice last season – both times to the University of Connecticut, including an 18-15 match in the national final.
"It was the best record we’ve had since I’ve been here over the past four years," says Olivia Stringer, who was named All-American along with Josie Vidic.
The CSU men’s team reached the pre-regional tournament last season.
The women’s team is stronger now, but at one time, the men’s team ranked at the top of the nation. The team won national titles in 1990 and 1991, a few years after moving to the new Equine Teaching and Research Center for training.
"We’re one of the only completely self-sufficient teams," Stringer says. "I believe we’re one of the only teams that doesn’t have a coach. We completely take care of our own horses and put up money for our travel."
The Ram hockey squad powered to a top-four finish in the national championships last season.
Colorado State went 2-1-1 in the tournament, losing 3-2 in the semifinals to Oakland and ending the season with a 23-4-3 record.
CSU won the national American Collegiate Hockey Association tournament in 1995 and typically loses only a handful of games per season.
"We’re always right up in that top level," says coach Joe Sharrock.
While last year proved successful, the Ram hockey club is in the midst of a high-profile season for 2006-07. CSU, which hosted the Western Classic tournament over Thanksgiving and will host the National Championships in March at EPIC, is playing one of its longest and most difficult schedules – 38 regular-season games, including five against Division I teams.
Originally published in the Fall 2006 Colorado State University Magazine.
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