Oregon State has a dynasty in intramural basketball powerhouse Soccer Junies
The Soccer Junies, an intramural women’s ‘A’ team consisting of women’s soccer players, goes for it
Published: Thursday, March 14, 2013
Updated: Thursday, March 14, 2013 15:03
Dynasty isn’t a word that’s thrown around loosely in the sports world.
In order to earn the title of dynasty, you have to exhibit sustained dominance over an extended period of time.
As for recent dynasties, you have the 1996-2001 New York Yankees, the 2000-2002 Los Angeles Lakers and the 2001-2004 New England Patriots, just to name a few.
As for Oregon State dynasties, the baseball program recently qualified as such when it won back-to-back national titles in 2006 and 2007.
But that’s where the list of OSU dynasties ends, right?
A group of OSU women’s soccer players have formed a dynasty — on the basketball court.
Meet the Soccer Junies, an intramural basketball team made up of current and former OSU women’s soccer players.
“Well, since we’ve lost once in three years, I’d say we’re a dynasty,” said Brandi Dawson, a forward on the pitch and the captain on the court.
“I think [dynasty] is a fair thing to say,” added Erin Uchacz, a 5-foot-10 midfielder who rebounds as ferociously as she boots a soccer ball.
Tonight, the Soccer Junies will play in their third straight intramural championship game. They won the title two years ago, but lost last year.
This year, they’ve outscored their opponents 205-105 en route to tonight’s game, which tips off at 7:45 p.m. at Dixon Recreation Center. They’ll face Kappa Kappa Gamma, which defeated Alpha Phi in a semifinal game Wednesday night.
The Soccer Junies’ lineup is a potent one in terms of athleticism, an underwhelming one in terms of basketball experience.
“Being in shape is 90 percent of the reason we win, because we just out-run teams,” Dawson said.
“Life is easy when you’re fit,” added Jenna Richardson, who’s arguably the Beavers’ best soccer player and the Soccer Junies’ least experienced basketball player.
Uchacz, Jacy Drobney and Ashley Seal are the Soccer Junies’ only players who played varsity basketball in high school. They carry the load for the team.
“We dish Erin [Uchacz] the ball and let her dunk it over their heads,” Dawson said. “And she gets all the rebounds, and she makes her free throws.”
“When Jacy’s on, she’s a really good shooter,” Uchacz said. “And when she’s off, she’s off.”
“Jacy can put the ball through her legs, so that’s cool,” Richardson added.
And then there are the rest of the players, each contributing in their own separate ways.
There’s Marissa Kovac, who Richardson said “never looks like she’s trying, and in a split second she’ll poke your eyes out.”
There’s Megan Miller, who Dawson said has been known to hit a really necessary three-pointer from time to time. Miller is also the reason the team has a coach; her boyfriend, OSU men’s basketball player Angus Brandt, gives the team pointers on occasion.
There’s Dawson, who Richardson said “is intimidating because she has real basketball shoes, and she is also very confident regardless if she’s actually good or not.”
There’s Haley Shaw, who won’t play tonight due to an injury, but whose soccer instincts have led her to kick the ball when she’s supposed to pick it up from time to time.
As for what Richardson, who comes off the bench, brings to the team, Dawson said “speed, and good looks. She brings our team average up.”
The best part of IMs, the Soccer Junies say, is the fact that they can show up without warming up or anything and frustrate teams by beating them.
“I think what makes it so awesome is we don’t really care,” Richardson said. “We show up, we don’t warm up and then we win and the other team gets frustrated and it’s funny.
“It’s awesome to be cocky when you’re absolutely terrible. The other team hates it. I’ll make a 3-pointer and then do a dance and sub myself out, and then the other team will call me a B-word.”
While they have fun with it, there’s no denying the Soccer Junies’ desire to win.
“Last game [in the semifinals] we were down by like five, and we were like, ‘There’s no way we are losing to these people,’” Uchacz said. “So we stepped it up.”
As for what happened last year, the Soccer Junies said they played a team that had solid basketball experience, but that part of the reason they lost was because Uchacz fouled out in the first five minutes of the second half.
“It’ll sting,” Uchacz said of last year’s loss ruining their chance of winning four straight IM championships, assuming they’ll be back next year.
They’re determined not to lose tonight.
“We’re not cocky, but we’re confident,” Uchacz said. “We’re going to win.”