Volume 96, Issue 12
Wednesday September 18, 2002

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Field hockey team takes dead aim at OUA powers

By Ryan Hickman
Gazette Staff

John Hamin/Gazette

FIELD HOCKEY JUST CAN'T BE GOOD FOR YOUR BACK. The Western Mustangs field hockey team drew a tie with the Guelph Gryphons last weekend.

At first look, you might only see short skirts and future back problems, but Western's women's field hockey team is preparing for a big run this season.

The ladies with the mini sticks and the arched torsos opened their season with a 1-1 tie against the University of Guelph on Saturday. Andrea Glen of the Mustangs popped a goal in the short side of the net within the first four minutes of the game, but that was all the scoring Western had in them.

The Gryphons already had nine games under their wing this season, while the Mustangs were still getting over their first game jitters. Co-captain Carolyn Corcoran was positive about Western's first game and for the future.

"We did some good stuff for our first game and we're confident about our upcoming games," Corcoran remarked.

Western head coach Jennifer Symmes saw some things the team has to focus on, but said she was pleased overall.

"There were some kinks in communication that we have to work on. We ran our systems really well and our speed and fitness was good," she said.

Even after one game, the women's team wants to raise expectations and are pushing for a higher ranking than last year, when they finished sixth in the Ontario University Athletics conference.

Symmes expanded on the prospects for the coming season and how the team intends to avoid making the mistakes of last year.

"We definitely want to have a higher ranking this year. Last year we got up to seventh in Canada and then choked in some games later in the year," Symmes said.

Symmes is in her second year at the helm of the field hockey team and likes that the team will be fully immersed in her system.

The team is not going to tiptoe around any opponents, but rather take them straight on, she explained.

"We try to use a lot of speed, size and strength. We're not big on finesse, but just put our heads down and go right towards the net," Symmes said.

The team's other co-captain, Angela Meggs, pointed out there can only be an upside to the team this season.

"Last year we were building but this year all of our starters [have game experience]. We are still young but we've played together," Meggs said.

Meggs and Corcoran were mentioned by Symmes as strong returning players, along with centre forward Lindsay Dold and lone goal scorer versus Guelph, Andrea Glen.

Symmes pinpointed their strengths. "They all have good, hard shots and are always looking to score."

Waterloo, who finished second in the country last season, and Toronto are going to be the Mustangs' most formidable foes. Corcoran said she is not intimidated by the other powerhouses in their conference.

"We want to finish in the top three. We know we can beat Waterloo," Corcoran said.

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2002 THE GAZETTE