This weekend was what many on the women’s squash team had dreamed about. With a decisive victory over No. 4 Harvard, the women secured both the Ivy League title and the National Championship. The resounding victory and impressive titles are a great honor for the team and should be a lesson to Yale sports fans that any team on campus can provide athletic excitement and prestige.
By many accounts, it’s been a disappointing season for Yale sports fans. Although the football team placed second in the league, the third straight loss to Harvard in The Game, left many fans disappointed. And while the basketball team, looks to finish uninspiringly in the middle of the field again this year. This weekend certainly didn’t help Yale’s men’s teams redeem themselves, with strong efforts but yet more losses.
But Eli sports fans did indeed have much to cheer for. While men’s squash, hockey and basketball teams each dropped games this weekend, their female counterparts managed exciting victories. On the court, a late three-pointer helped the Eli women squeak by Harvard’s basketball team, and, on the ice, the Yale women’s hockey team shut out Cornell 4-0. The wins gave the women’s basketball team its first victory of the season, while the women’s hockey team set a Yale record its their sixth ECAC win and hit 10 victories for the season, the highest since the 1985-1986 season.
But it’s the women’s squash season that has been particularly thrilling this year. Favored to win the Ivy League championship, the Bulldog women pulled off a stunning upset over squash powerhouse Trinity, setting the stage for Yale’s undefeated season and national championship.
We offer our sincere congratulations to the women’s squash team for its remarkable achievement — and, almost as importantly, a victory over Harvard. Not only is it a tremendous accomplishment now, but one that means great things for the future. Success breads success, and the women’s squash team will be able to have its pick of the crop when recruiting players for subsequent seasons. The team should also be able to be attract a larger fan base, hungry for more of the exciting action and close matches the team provided this year.
But there are action-packed sporting events to be found almost anywhere. Unfortunately, in years when the men’s football, basketball and hockey teams do not perform as well as hoped, the typical Yale fan bemoans the inadequacy of Yale sports. But there are teams out there that can and do win, and do so even without the campus support Yale’s “big three” often receive. Often, these teams are women’s teams. So we urge students to attend women’s sporting events and be happy for their victories. We hope we can stop considering a season in which the football team fails to capture the league victory symptomatic of an ailing Yale sports tradition.
Beyond just women’s sports, we hope students are able to expand their traditional conceptions of sports. Crew races or fencing matches can be as exciting as other sports, and often, at Yale at least, result in more victories. If only fans would spread their support around, all Yale’s teams, as well as campus life, would be the better for it.