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Women in Sports at Drexel

This essay is the fourth in the series Drexel students write about Drexel history


Women in Sports at Drexel

by Andi Stampone and Tanmai Rayavarapu

Since its inception, Drexel University has always encouraged its women students to participate in athletics. Today, we have eight women’s Division I sports teams: basketball, soccer, lacrosse, field hockey, swimming, tennis, rowing, and softball. According to US News and World Report, Drexel’s athletic department ranks first in gender equality and has a higher student athlete graduation rate than the national average. Ranked 8th in the nation in 2009, field hockey is the highest ranking women’s team at Drexel.

Women have played basketball at Drexel since the earliest days of the Institute in the 1890s.  The program has produced many outstanding athletes, among them Gabriela Marginean, the first All-American basketball player from Drexel. In her freshman year, she was Colonial Athletic Association (CAA) rookie of the year and earned all-CAA team honors in each of her four years. Averaging 20.6 points and 7.6 rebounds per game, she helped Drexel win the CAA championship in 2009. With 2,581 career points, she is the highest scoring women’s basketball player in Philadelphia and in CAA history. She was drafted by the Minnesota Lynx in the 26th round and is only the second Romanian to play in the WNBA.

Basketball team of the Drexel Domestic Science Department, 1897-981897-98 women's basketball team

The other women’s teams have had notable victories. In swimming and diving, Kate Hynes was a two-time All-American on the 3-meter board and qualified for the NCAA Championship three times. She finished her career undefeated in dual meets and established pool records throughout the East Coast. A “Silver Star” was awarded to her as one of the 25 student athletes who have had the greatest impact on the CAA in the past 25 years.

Many women athletes have been elected to the Drexel Dragons Hall of Fame, including Marion Layton (class of 1978), who led the field hockey team to an undefeated season in 1961. Barbara Boyle (class of 1977) earned 12 letters in 4 sports at Drexel and received Drexel’s highest honor for a female athlete, the Blazer Award. Ms. Boyle was an active member of the Women’s Athletic Association. Carol Wurster was captain of the women’s Lacrosse team and was named the 1967 athlete of the year. Nancy Morrison was a four year letter winner on the tennis team and captain during her senior year. She was selected twice for the Middle States Women’s Intercollegiate Championships.  (For more information about these Hall of Fame athletes, including their portraits, please see http://www.drexeldragons.com/hof.aspx)

These women were able to excel in athletics during their time and are well deserving of their accolades. They inspire current female athletes to play and compete at the highest level.

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