Women lengthen season to CIAU's
Mustangs finish with OUA bronze
Western a fightin' fourth
Dunnett loves the OUA top
Western a fightin' fourth
By Sean Maraj
When the clock ran out on Western's season last weekend, the field hockey team found themselves a respectable fourth at the Ontario University Athletics championships.
The playoffs featured several hard fought games, including a penalty shootout against Queen's University, a 3-0 loss against the University of Toronto and a 1-0 overtime loss to the University of Waterloo.
The Mustangs, who spent most of the season playing away games, pulled out some surprises over the weekend and gave some of the best teams in the country a run for their money.
"I cannot say enough about how hard this team worked," said Western head coach Keith Concisom, adding the team's determination through adversity was a major strength this year.
"No matter what, this team was relentless. Our strength this year was the product of our struggles. That has to say something about our players, to Western and to the league," he said. "We didn't bring back a medal, but we brought back lots of pride."
Concisom said the lack of campus practice space, which resulted from the construction of the new stadium, was a challenge the team had to overcome. "Not knowing where they would be, with things being up in the air and to come together and play with the powerhouse teams [was a great triumph]," he said.
Mustang assistant coach Karen Murtaugh said she was also pleased with the team's play this weekend and their strong finish. "We played the best field hockey all season," she said. "We came together in the end, the score didn't reflect the way we played."
Waterloo head coach Sharon Creelman, whose team finished third in the tournament and qualified as host team to the Canadian Intercollegiate Athletics Union championships, said her team could have played better against their competition, considering their inability to score in regulation time. Defensively, we weren't too bad, but we should have capitalized on our chances."
Western captain and right midfielder Jenn Kicis said she thought her team played well and finished the season much stronger than they started. "The finish was good. We had our ups and downs, but in the end we really put it together," she said.
Now with the season coming to a close, the team must look towards next year and expectations are already rising for the team to excel. Concisom said he was expecting greater things for next year's team.
"The OUA berth of the Canadian Intercollegiate Athletics Union that should be a goal of Western every year," Concisom said.
However, the team is on the verge of losing four of its starters defender Maria Mascarenhas, forward Patricia Cronin and second team OUA all-stars goalkeeper Dennis Pelletier and captain Jenn Symmes.
Despite the potential losses, Concisom said he was still optimistic about his team's chances next year as well as in the upcoming indoor hockey season, where most of the field hockey players compete in the winter.
"The [starters were] key but there are a lot of first-year and second-year players contributing. It's what these players do this winter in indoor hockey that will determine whether next year is a rebuilding year," he said.