DOWLING AND BRIDGEPORT WOMEN'S SOCCER SHARE THE ECC SPORTSMANSHIP AWARD
Old Westbury, N.Y. - The East Coast Conference Sportsmanship Award is presented to the ECC Team or individual that best exemplifies the spirit of sportsmanship and has conducted themselves with a high degree of integrity, character and class as displayed by a single action or ongoing behavior during a season.
This year's award is shared by two teams, the women's soccer
squads from the University of Bridgeport and Dowling College.
An article in the Spring 2012 issue of the NCAA Champion Magazine, titled "Teams Team up For Each Other" details what occurred this past fall.
"The first round of the Division II Women's Soccer Championship last fall in Bridgeport, Connecticut, put a new spin on an old saying. On November 11, there was no "us" in "team".
To start, the bus that was to transport Massachusetts-Lowell from its hotel to its match was unavailable. When Dowling Associate AD Melody Cope heard of the problem, she offered the Golden Lions' bus. Lowell's Associate AD Joan Lehoullier gratefully accepted the offer. As the Dowling student-athletes and staff cleaned out the bus, they realized they had left their uniforms at their Long Island campus - 100 miles of Greater N.Y. City away.
The games committee called an impromptu meeting, and the coaches agreed to move the start time back to accommodate Dowling's situation.
As if things weren't chaotic enough, the driver bringing the Dowling uniforms to the site encountered a traffic accident along the way, which meant that he might not arrive at the adjusted start time. Hearing that, UB coach Magnus Nilerud offered to let Dowling use the Purple Knights' away uniforms for the match. Dowling said yes and wore the Bridgeport uniforms during warmups, lineups and the national anthem.
After the national anthem, literally one minute before the match was to begin, the Dowling driver showed up with the real uniforms. With a quick change, the student-athletes were in their own attire for the start of the contest.
"This was a perfect example of what makes Division II unique and special" said Lowell's Lehoullier. "Institutions that were moments away from competing against each other were also there to support each other when facing adversity."
Both squads were recognized for their sportsmanship at the East Coast Conference Awards Dinner.