GW sports teams are nicknamed the Colonials. All but one, that is. The GW ultimate Frisbee team is the only squad on campus with a unique title – the Hungry Hungry Hippos.
Club President Joe Pollak said Frisbee teams usually like to choose a name that is a bit different from the norm.
“Most Frisbee teams are a little bit counter-culture,” he said. “We have our own bootleg line of hats, sweatshirts, T-shirts and headbands.”
He also said many students on campus ask members of the Frisbee team where they can purchase the items that have a cartoon logo of a Hippo printed on them.
Apparel issues aside, the team has had a very successful year, finishing 26-15. As of April 20, the Ultimate Players Association named Hippos No. 39 out of 336 teams in the nation.
After finishing second at the Colonial Sectional Tournament two weeks ago, the Hippos will move on to the regional tournament in Edinborough, Pa., next weekend. GW will compete against the University of Delaware, Maryland, Towson State University and Salisbury University for the chance to move on to nationals.
Two years ago, the Hippos made it to Nationals and Pollak said he hopes his team can make it back this year.
He said the program, which began in 1998, is completely student-run and largely financed by team fundraising. He added that ultimate Frisbee is a sport that attracts high school seniors to GW.
“We’ve had incoming freshmen come and watch our practices,” he said. “It can help influence where they want to go to school.”
But Pollak said most of the current team never played organized ultimate Frisbee before college. He said it is a sport many pick up after playing mainstream team sports in high school.
The GW men’s club lacrosse team recently won two out of three of its home games, defeating Georgetown and Johns Hopkins University.
The road, however, was not kind to the Colonials. At the annual Beltway Blast Tournament from April 2-4, GW lost all three games it played.
Junior team member Matt Puia said his squad only played eight games due to scheduling conflicts. Despite not playing a full schedule of games, Puia said it was fun just getting out there.
“It’s great just to be able to play since they don’t have a varsity program here.”
If GW had men’s varsity lacrosse, Puia said, he and his club teammates would be very interested.
“I would definitely play if GW had a varsity team,” he said. “I think most of the kids on our team would.”
The GW women’s club soccer team hosted its annual Colonial Cup April 17-18. The Colonials went 1-2 at the tournament, defeating the College of New Jersey 3-2 and falling to Villanova University 4-1 and American University 2-1.
Ohio State University won the 12-team event, which was held at Mount Vernon. Despite only playing in one tournament this semester, players said club soccer provided an excellent alternative to the varsity level.
“I considered trying out for varsity,” said Christene Lino, the team’s treasurer. “But we want to take our program to the next level. We’re shooting to go to Regionals next year.”
She also said new head coach Mike Gill has done a great job making club soccer a strong program. He has even developed an off-season training regimen for the players.
The team practices once a week at the Smith Center, which Lino said is tough because playing indoors is very different from playing outside on a grass or turf field.