October 31, 2003  
Volume 97, Issue 35  

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SPORTS

Field hockey history in the making Western makes first appearance at championships

By Ian Denomme
Gazette Staff

Ian Howes/Gazette
CHAMPIONSHIP BOUND. The Western Mustangs’ women’s field hockey team is competing for a CIS championship for the first time in school history.

History will be made this week at the Canadian Interuniversity Sport women's field hockey championships in Oakville.

For the first time in school history, the Western Mustangs are taking part in the national championships. After a second place finish in the Ontario University Athletics championships last week, the Mustangs received their bye to the tournament.

Western finished the regular season with a record of 6-4-4. They then upset the Queen's Golden Gaels 1-0 in their OUA semi-final before falling to Waterloo 2-0 in the final.

What makes the appearance at the Canadian championships even more impressive is the changes the program has gone through over the last few years.

Three years ago the team finished near the bottom of the league with a record of 2-7-3 and didn't even qualify for the OUA championships. Also, the team taking part in the Canadian championships consists of almost the same players from three years ago.

Obviously, with all these accomplishments, the team is going into the tournament on a high note.

"This is the highest finish Western has had in the OUA in seven years," said Andrea Glen, one of the team's captains. "This is the first time that a Western team has ever made it to the national championship tournament and we are proud to have made Western history in doing so." Last year the team was cut down to the third tier in the university's overhaul of the Intercollegiate Athletics program. The team receives no funding from the university and is completely self-funded.

"We are a completely self-funded varsity team and we had to fight to even be allowed to compete in the OUA," Glen said.

The team is led by first team All-Canadian Lindsay Dold. The third-year midfielder scored 10 goals in the regular season, placing her fourth in Canada in scoring. Alison Cross was also in the top ten in Canada in scoring with six goals.

Western comes into the tournament as the fourth seed of the six participating teams. The University of British Columbia comes into the tournament with the No. 1 seed and have won three of the last five championships. The defending champion University of Victoria Vikes are the No. 2 seed, followed by Waterloo. Saint Mary's is the fifth seed and host York is the sixth seed.

Western opened the tournament yesterday against UBC and faces Saint Mary's today. The top two teams from each pool advance to the semi- final round on Saturday.

 

 

 

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