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US Exchange Student Receives Green & Gold Selection

  • Saturday, October 22 2005 @ 11:58 pm ACST
  • Contributed by: Anonymous
  • Views: 3,330
General News Ryan Bartz, an exchange student from New York, was selected in the Green & Gold Australian Women's football team at the Australian University Games late last month. Although selection is honorary as there is no international competition to play in, it is a major achievement for Bartz who had only played two games of Australian Rules football prior to the Australian University Games.

Bartz, a theatre student, arrived in Melbourne in July to complete a semester on exchange at the University of Melbourne. A college ice hockey player in New York and in her home state of California, Bartz thought to try her hand at the Australian game to complete her Aussie experience. She called the Melbourne University Women's Football Club, who was nearing the end of the home and away season. With only 2 regular games left in the season, Bartz took hold of the opportunity to have a kick and took to the field in the famous black and blue colours of Melbourne University. She immediately made an impact on debut for the Melbourne University Girls' Aussie Rules Squad (MUGARS) Division 3 side, leaving Coach, Deb 'Henry' Lawson, pleading with her to stay on permanently.

At the conclusion of the Victorian Women's Football League season, eager to continue to get more of this great game and improve her skills, Bartz travelled to Brisbane to compete in the AUG. And improve she did. By the end of the tournament played in 30 degree celcius heat, she received the third most Melbourne University votes and was revered by on lookers for her amazing pace and tackling ability. She was not fearful of using both sides of her body and had mastered the fine art of 'one percenters'. Playing off the wing, Bartz helped steer the Melbourne University Women's Football Club on to the gold medal at the inaugural women's football competition at AUG. Her amazing transition from the ice rink to the football field rewarded her with Green and Gold selection alongside 9 other of her Melbourne University team mates, who went through the competition undefeated.

Bartz is now pulling on the boots for the MUGARS in Football Victoria's Rec Footy competition until she departs for the US in late November. She is now hunting for a women's Australian Rules football club in New York or California, and hopes to return to the MUGARS one day soon to again wear the black and blue.