1984 Women's Soccer
Photographs courtesy of Dickinson College Archives

Prior to 1984, Dickinson did not have a women's soccer varsity team.  Previously, soccer was a club sport for women that were interested in soccer.  The team was ran and managed, usually by the seniors who participated.  These seniors were in charge of everything from uniforms to scheduling.  Occasionally, they had to deal with the Student Senate for support and funding.  These women would also hold bake sales as a form of fund raising for any expenses that were necessary for their club. Team selection and varying individual participation levels were also causes of controversy within the program.  The women hoped that a coach and the discipline of varsity status would eliminate these problems and this, indeed, transpired.

The first women's soccer varsity coach was Albert Masland and the goalie coach was a senior student named Jeff Rhyne, who had completed his years of playing eligibility at Dickinson.  Professor John Osborne, then serving as men's varsity assistant coach, also helped with the team.  With this help, the first women's varsity team at Dickinson made a victorious entrance, interestingly, one hundred years after the first female undergraduate enrolled at the College. They ended their season with a record 9-3.

From the beginning, the women's team underwent preparations just as rigorous as the men.  As extended pre-season, coach Masland required his team to take ballet lessons with the men's team, for three weeks.  These lessons sought to improve balance, flexibility, coordination, and to strengthen legs.  At their games, the support the women received came mostly from the men's soccer team and the faculty of Dickinson.  Although the women had problems with their uniforms, which were from the school store, and officials, they proved to be a competent and strong group of women.

The series of photographs above (scrolling to the right) show Dickinson's 2-0 victory over Army.  This game was the women's team second game of the season, played at Biddle Field on September 22, 1984.  The woman in the first shot is Melanie Tratnick, 14, who also played lacrosse and basketball.  She scores in the first frame at the eastern goal, wheels away in the second, and in the last shot she rejoices with her teammates, Dierdre Janes, 22 and Aletha Rizzi.  On the sidelines, her teammates were as happy. (Click here) During this season there were eight seniors on the team, but with the incentive of a varsity playing level, the subsequent teams were never short of players.  Also, we have coverage of the 1986 women's soccer team.  The 1986 women's team, which had no seniors to the 1984 team's eight, had a record of 6-8-2.  Albert Masland continued to coach this young team of soccer enthusiasts, until his election to the State House of Representatives, in which he still serves at the time of this writing.

The record for this historic first season was as follows:

Dickinson    4
Lehigh    1    (scrimmage)
Swarthmore    0
Army    0
Penn State    3
Susquehanna    0
Scranton    5
Messiah    0
Franklin and Marshall    3
Kutztown    1
Lehigh (by forfeit) 
Gettysburg    1
Delaware    1

Dickinsonian  August 30, 1984 and October 31, 1984
The Sentinel  September 22, 1984  page 3