Considering the sheer competitiveness and ubiquity of Penn’s club culture, it seems only fitting that the Year in the Review issue takes into account the successes of Penn's club sports in 2017.
Leading the charge for Penn's club sports programs is the men's hockey team. After starting their season off with a bang, the Quakers have not relented whatsoever. Their 14-3-1 record paces the Colonial States College Hockey Conference, and behind the scoring prowess of Brett Rahbany (52 points) and Alex Beckert (50 points), the Red and Blue offense has been unstoppable all season. If the Quakers can sustain their early season success, they'll have a strong chance to end the season as the conference leader after finishing in a close second-place last season.
Matching the dominance of the ice hockey program in 2017 was the women's club soccer team, which blew away the competition right from the season's start. Blitzing their opponents with 35 goals in just eight games, the team finished the regular season with a perfect 8-0 record that earned them a spot in Regionals. Meanwhile, the men's squad has been equally impressive, going 6-0-1 in the regular season before winning the Philadelphia Division at the Region I Tournament and advancing to the College Club Soccer Championship National Tournament in Phoenix, Arizona.
Not to be outdone, Penn club tennis had a season for the ages in the spring of 2017, earning a trip to the USTA Tennis On Campus National Championship in Orlando, Florida as a top seed. Inarguably one of the most selective and skilled club teams at Penn, club tennis has a rigorous try-out process which results in a truly elite group of players. As a testament to that talent, Penn regularly receives top 20 consideration in the national rankings.
Speaking of Nationals, Penn club ultimate's Anna Thompson established herself as a force to be reckoned with in the world of frisbee. The junior earned a spot on the United States National Team at the World Under-24 (U24) Ultimate Championship in Australia and will represent her country in early 2018.
Additionally, Penn's sailing team has had quite the year in its own right, as both the women's team and co-ed team earned top 25 rankings while competing primarily against varsity opponents. Without a full-time coach to organize and teach, captains Ava Esquier, Max Slosburg, and Raemie Ladner have been crucial to sailing's successes in the fall season. With a team full of young talents such as sophomore skipper Lenox Butcher, Penn club sailing could be a force for years to come.
While the aforementioned sports have cemented themselves as parts of the very fabric of Penn's club athletics scene, junior Connor Borkert, formerly a member of Penn Track and Field, spent 2017 looking to receive official Penn recognition for his weightlifting club. Borkert, one of the 10 best powerlifters for his age group in the entire country, attempted to elevate Penn Barbell Club from a loosely-associated collection of guys to an official, organized, and Penn funded program.
All in all, 2017 has been a successful and active year for Penn's club sports. With all the talent across campus, 2018 should be just as impressive.
All comments eligible for publication in Daily Pennsylvanian, Inc. publications.