TROY — RPI associate athletic director Kevin Beattie was talking to Engineers dive coach Maria Coomaraswamy-Falkenstein in early April, and she said that her face hurt when she was getting home from work.
“And I said, ‘What are you talking about?'” Beattie said on Wednesday afternoon. “She said because she was smiling so much having an opportunity to be with her kids again.”
This was from a coach who has only recently begun conducting practices this spring and doesn’t even have an actual season to train for because swimming is a winter sport.
Imagine how the RPI athletes and coaches who do get to have a season this spring must feel.
The Engineers may be late to the party, but it’s better late than never this weekend for six spring sports programs at RPI that will finally begin play.
Baseball, men’s golf and tennis (men and women) will start on Friday, followed by men’s lacrosse and softball on Saturday.
All of the schedules are significantly shortened from what the teams would typically do in the spring, and per Liberty League and school rules, spectators will not be allowed.
Beattie said the teams will be eligible for the postseason, barring cancellations.
“The Liberty League had set the schedule, and every school in nearly every sport had a bye,” Beattie said. “So when we decided that it was something we were going to consider, [commissioner] Tracy King at the Liberty League just slid it into the byes. The coaches did have some autonomy to schedule their own games, but we were always included in the league schedule.”
The teams got back to practice, including off-season sports like swimming and diving, four weeks ago.
Beattie said the RPI spring teams were trying to start playing last weekend, “but because we had a situation on campus with too many cases, we had to delay it.”
Women’s lacrosse is not competing because of a depleted roster.
The men’s lacrosse team opens against Skidmore on Saturday, followed by games against Vassar on Wednesday and at St. Lawrence next Saturday, May 1.
“Right now they only have three games, so that makes it difficult, but the caveat is what happens to other schools within the league,” Beattie said. “If we go 3-0 and get those games in, then see what the numbers are, we’d have a good chance [in the postseason].”
Although all of the spring athletes’ regular seasons will be over by May 9 or sooner, “They’re super-pumped,” Beattie said.