FAU’s top ten sports moments of 2003, the way I see it

As the year 2003 concluded, the UP decided to put out an issue of the best FAU had to offer this year. In sports, the best moments are usually decided by victories or great accomplishments.

The rest of the sports section will have those moments. Here, I look at the top ten moments that impacted FAU sports and explain why they look bad, but are really good moments.

10. In December FAU accepts a bid to move their athletic teams to the Sun Belt Conference. This move is implemented to help the football team make the jump from Division I-A to I-AA. All sports will become Sun Belt teams. FAU looks to advance their athletic program with this move.

9. FAU cheerleaders decide that cheering at sporting events was taking away from preparation time for national meets. A cheer club was established so that members more interested in tournaments than school spirit, could compete without the hassle of cheering on their alma mater.

8. Travis Howard and Valeria Dalmastro, both juniors, qualify for the 2004 Olympic swimming trials. Forget FAU getting national exposure with sports – imagine the world wide exposure that winning Olympic Gold would receive.

7. Rhonda Jones of the women’s soccer team gets the thrill of a lifetime as her parents from Scotland were able to come to the States and watch her play in a collegiate game for the first time in her four years at FAU.

6. The women’s volleyball team shows everyone that they are not to be considered lightly, defeating Mercer 3-0 in the first round of the A-Sun tournament, a match most thought they would not win.

5. FAU’s football team loses to UCF 33-29, in a game in which they shouldhave been blown away. Linebacker Chris Laskowski proclaims, “We are done with moral victories.” FAU go on to a 10 game winning streak and win their first two playoff games in school history.

4. Women’s soccer loses to UCF in penalty kicks in the championship game of the A-Sun tournament. The seniors were hoping to win their final chance at a title on FAU’s field but fell short. The seniors need to understand that they were already champions before the game was played. They built this team into a contender and found the support of the Boca community, something from which the rest of FAU athletics could learn.

3. Lady Owls softball proves again that while they might not be in the spotlight, they are arguably the best sports team. Wear FAU colors as they win their record setting 7th straight A-Sun championship and make their 5th straight appearance to the NCAA tournament.

2. The Blue Wave baseball team loses to Miami 1-0 in the NCAA Regional Tournament in Coral Gables. In a sport that usually sees batters lighting up the skies with balls, Randy Beam dazzled UM hitters by throwing a complete game five hit performance. Sure, he was beat by a one hit performance from Miami, but Beam controlled the day like no other FAU player could have done.

1. FAU loses to Colgate 36-24 in the Division I-AA Semifinal football game. The Owls lost this game, but did something that no other sports team in South Florida but the Marlins could do: they captured the hearts of their fans. In an area where a 10-2 Hurricane football record is considered a failure, and a 8-6 Dolphin team that can still make the playoffs need to fire their coach, the Owls were looked upon as heroes. As the team left their final game, they were greeted by fans lining the fence at Lockhart Stadium to shake their hands and congratulate the Owls for a season that dreams are made for.

Those are my top ten moments of 2003. As I leave you, I want to raise my glass to FAU sports teams alike and drink to a 2004 season that will bring more excitement than has ever been seen at FAU.