Field hockey history in
the making Western makes first appearance at championships
By Ian Denomme
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.