The Gazette year-end reviews: fall sports

Baseball, women's golf, men's soccer place well provincially

Tuesday, April 7th, 2009

Men's soccer

Jonas Hrebeniuk

The baseball team sent the Brock Badgers home disappointed this year, winning its third consecutive Ontario University Athletics title while losing only four games all season. Individually, pitcher Sean Grimes was named Most Valuable Pitcher in the league, while eight other Mustangs were named to either the first or second All-Star team.

The men and women’s cross-country teams had successful OUA meets this year finishing fourth and second, respectively. Leila Angrand finished second overall for the women.

On the national stage, Angrand also led the way with a third-place finish and Nathan de Witt led the men’s team with a 23rd-place finish overall.

The field hockey squad had a successful season, finishing in fourth place provincially with a 7-5-2 record and securing a playoff spot. In the league’s quarter-final game, Western bested the Queen’s Golden Gaels 1-0 before going on to face the Toronto Varsity Blues in the OUA semi-final. The Varsity Blues ended Western’s playoff run, shutting out the ’Stangs 4-0.

After a horrendous start to the season that saw them drop their first four games, the football team put together seven straight wins on its way to claiming its first OUA Yates Cup championship since 1998. While the program’s goal year-in and year-out is to compete for the OUA title, this year’s squad surpassed all expectations on its way to the provincial crown.

The men’s golf team capped off an up-and-down season with a respectable fourth place finish at the OUA championship tournament in Ottawa. The high point of the season came in early October, when the ’Stangs won their own tournament, the Western Invitational at Sunningdale Golf Club.

The women’s golf team pulled off an OUA championship three-peat, winning this year’s final tournament in dominant form, finishing 10 strokes ahead of the second place Varsity Blues. Capping off a successful season, the Mustangs had three players named to All-Star teams: Katie Lebel, Cheryl Beech, and Stephanie Grenier.

Woman's Cross Country

A 7-4 quarterfinal win over McGill University paired the women’s lacrosse team against a dominant Laurier Golden Hawks squad in its semi-final. The lopsided game saw the Hawks defeat the Mustangs 16-5. The Mustangs fell to the Blues 13-11 in their battle for bronze.

The men had a successful season thanks in large part to goalkeeper Haidar Al-Shaibani, who earned Most Valuable Player honours for the OUA West division. The team ended the regular season with a record of 9-1-4, allowing only four goals. Squaring off against York University in the OUA final, the ’Stangs lost a heartbreaker in penalty kicks. A credit to its depth, the team contributed four players to the West division’s first team all-stars, the most of any school.

The women’s side could not piece together consecutive wins all season, yet still managed to make the playoffs. The team fell to Brock in the OUA quarterfinals. Regardless, rookie Chantal Blais was among the scoring leaders in the OUA, notching five goals. Veteran Jenna Byrne closed out her university career as a first team all-star.

Following a tremendous start to the season in which the Mustangs women won their first four matches, the team narrowly lost its final three contests, culminating in a defeat at the hands of the York Lions in the final game of the season. The team was led by second-year player Chantal Forristal, who was selected to the women’s All-Star team.

On the men’s squad, Western’s Alex Riedl and Justin Kates were named OUA all-stars for their success this season. The pair had strong seasons in both singles and doubles play, and were instrumental in the Mustangs’ 4-2 record and third-place ranking heading into the provincial championships. The ’Stangs earned silver at OUAs, losing to York in the final on Oct. 14 at the Rexall Tennis Centre in Toronto.

The Western track and field team was extremely successful this season, with women placing second and men placing fourth at the Canadian Interuniversity Sport Championships. The women’s 4 x 400 relay team, made up of Lisa Grieve, Jen Perrault, Jen Cotten and Tara Paluzzi, smashed the existing Western record for that event. The men’s season produced records as well, with Pat Quilty moving into the school’s top 10 all-time list in triple jump, alongside Dan McDonald in shot put.

Western’s water polo team was all wet this season, which was short-lived due to a whopping eight losses for the Purple and Silver. The team, which consists of 15 men and two women, managed to tie one game against Queen’s. Upon facing the Golden Gaels a second time, the Mustangs won their first and, sadly, their only match of the season.

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