Students travel to away games no matter how far

By Rachel DeSantis

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Athletics at the University of Maryland is a long-standing source of pride and entertainment for students and alumni alike—a culture steeped in tradition.  With a large range of sports, the excitement of tailgates and cheering on the Terps isn’t limited to College Park.

“I’ve been to four games that were not at Maryland, all in the course of two weeks,” said freshman journalism major Craig Weisenfeld.  “One was the soccer play-offs, so there was the ACC Tournament in Germantown, Md., and then the national semi-final and final in Philadelphia.”

For Weisenfeld, a big incentive for traveling several hours away to cheer on his team was the free bus service The Crew — the soccer team’s student-run fan club — provided. Weisenfeld said that without this system, students would be less inclined to attend games far away because of gas or train and bus ticket costs.

While games are free for students to attend on the campus, tickets for championship games elsewhere are often expensive for a student on a budget.

“Tickets were slightly subsidized, but not that much, especially at the finals,” Weisenfeld said.  “Tickets for the game in Philadelphia were $60. They had a deal where you could buy two tickets together for $40, but you didn’t know if Maryland was going to win and make it that far, so you didn’t want to do that.”

Freshman anthropology major Warren Griffiths also made the trip to see Maryland play in Philadelphia and Germantown, though he said soccer is one of the only sports he’d consider doing that for.

“It depends really on the game, the location, the cost and whether or not they’ll provide transportation,” he said.

Though Maryland sports like baseball and lacrosse often play at nearby colleges like Towson University, about an hour away, and Univeristy of Virginia, about a two and a half hour drive from the campus. Several locations are out of reach for students to attend the games, especially for scheduled games that fall during the weekdays.

In the upcoming schedules, the university’s men’s lacrosse team will visit University of Notre Dame in Indiana and the baseball team will head to West Virginia and Pittsburgh, all of which can be considered too far for any student on a budget or without a car.

Sophomore finance major Zach Cohen, who has a car on campus, said he also went to the soccer national championship in Philadelphia. He said there was a large amount of Maryland students at the game, and he liked having a car so he could get there without having to depend on The Crew transportation or public transportation.

Despite the occasional struggle in finding a way to attend, one thing’s for sure: Maryland sports are never dull.

“Some of my best memories of school so far have come from those games,” Weisenfeld said.  “One of the games, we scored wicked late to win and the players came up in the bleachers and celebrated with us.  It was really awesome.”

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