The Laurier women’s curling team is coming off an extremely successful season, as they look to repeat the success they achieved last year.
The Golden Hawks were able to win the OUA gold medal and eventually reached the CIS finals.
Because of last season’s success, there is an immense amount of pressure on the Hawks for the upcoming season.
Fourth-year student Chelsea Brandwood commented on the team’s expectations for this season.
“The expectation is to try and repeat the gold medal achievement, at least make the finals and make it to CIS would be ideal. The gold medal is definitely the expectation,” she said.
It won’t be easy, as the Hawks have made some sweeping changes over the offseason, including the acquisition of new head coach, Matt Wilkinson.
In addition to the new head coach, there have also been other changes involving personnel.
The team has lost three of its players from last season, and has also added a new player: Susanna Wright.
“Definitely switching some people around and getting a new coach is going to make things different, but the majority of our team stayed the same. I think we’ll be just as good as last year. I think our team’s good enough to get the gold medal,” said Brandwood.
When asked about the team’s mindset and routine, Brandwood was quick to mention that it has not changed much, if at all.
“The routine is just the same. Playing one game at a time. Winning one at a time. Everyone is there to win, so we know we have to bring our best game. I think overall we train the same.”
The changes in personnel might have changed the atmosphere, but have not affected the team’s chemistry.
The team’s mindset of taking it slow and thinking about one game at a time shows the veteran leadership embedded within the team.
A different coach and the departure of some long time players will undoubtedly add some adversity but the Hawks will still decide their own fate.
This team can go as far as it wants and the high expectations shows that it’s all or nothing for the Hawks this year.
The Golden Hawks kick off their new season on Jan. 21, as they travel to Brock University in St. Catherines to compete in the Brock invitational and try to recapture OUA gold.