Ryan Bartz (left) with AUG Melbourne University Captain, Lucy Puls
Ryan Bartz, an exchange student from New York, was selected in the Green & Gold Australian Women's football team at the Australian University Games late last month. Although selection is honorary as there is no international competition to play in, it is a major achievement for Bartz who had only played two games of Australian Rules football prior to the Australian University Games.
Bartz, a theatre student, arrived in Melbourne in July to complete a semester on exchange at the University of Melbourne. A college ice hockey player in New York and in her home state of California, Bartz thought to try her hand at the Australian game to complete her Aussie experience. She called the Melbourne University Women's Football Club, who was nearing the end of the home and away season. With only 2 regular games left in the season, Bartz took hold of the opportunity to have a kick and took to the field in the famous black and blue colours of Melbourne University. She immediately made an impact on debut for the Melbourne University Girls' Aussie Rules Squad (MUGARS) Division 3 side, leaving Coach, Deb 'Henry' Lawson, pleading with her to stay on permanently.