School of Business Students Showcase Teamwork Inside and Outside the Classroom
April 08, 2011
The University of Miami Roller Hockey Club Team, which includes students from the School of Business, has won the Division II National Collegiate Roller Hockey Association (NCRHA) Championship. The team beat Florida Gulf Coast University by a score of 4-3 to take the title April 7. While the victory in the game itself was a notable accomplishment for the University of Miami team, the road to the game was what truly exemplified the spirit of teamwork, resilience, and determination that define students of the School of Business which was represented on the team by Josh Shuman, a management major and his brother Jake Shuman, a finance major.
Miami finished its regular season at a mediocre 7-7 record after struggling to find consistency and cohesion as a team. While the team was a combined 3-0 against rivals University of Florida and Florida State University, it also lost several key games against inferior opponents.
“It was a really up and down regular season for us,” said club captain Alex Lopez. “We didn’t play to our potential most of the season, and our final record was 7-7. We had always thought since we had our first skate that we could win the national championship, but our performance during the year didn’t really show it.”
Despite the team’s struggles during the regular season, UM managed to qualify for a post-season berth as a number five seed. However, as soon as the puck was dropped in the playoffs, it was almost as if a different team had taken the floor.
“It really all just clicked day one of the tournament. We played well and were all sitting in the locker room and knew if we played our brand of hockey, we were the best team in the country. It literally just clicked from day one of the playoffs,” Lopez said.
The Hurricanes went on to defeat Bethel University twice as well as East Carolina University on their path to the title game. According to Lopez, the determining factor in the team’s success was their love of the sport and the bond they developed throughout the season as a team.
“We knew we were playing for each other,” he said. “We hadn’t practiced enough, but we decided we were a family and we were going to do it for each other one last time. Out of nowhere, it clicked and we went from an average team with a ton of talent that wasn’t reaching its potential to the best team in the nation.”
The University of Miami ended up winning the final game over Florida Gulf Coast University in double overtime, adding to the excitement and significance of the victory.
“It was euphoric,” Lopez said. “It doesn’t get much more intense than a double overtime game in the national championship. When we scored the game winning goal, it was just 2 years of planning and practicing and driving an hour and a half for practice twice a week all coming together. It was unbelievable.”