Varsity sports winter review
Women’s Hockey A
Dominant, powerful, extraordinary – all of these traits are synonymous with Laurier’s women’s hockey team.
The Hawks continued their streak of impressive seasons this year, winning their seventh-straight provincial championship.
The team finished with an overall record of 26-0-1 for a total of 53 points in the regular season, scoring 98 goals in 27 games (the most in the league) and only allowing 23 (the least in the league).
Along with the Ontario University Athletics (OUA) championship trophy, the team managed to capture the bronze medal at the Canadian Interuniversity Sport (CIS) finals.
Liz Knox deserves additional praise for being named the CIS player of the Year. This Laurier goaltending sensation led the nation in every goaltending category and set numerous OUA records.
Women’s Curling A-
After two straight years of national gold medals, there were a few question marks surrounding Laurier’s women’s curling team heading into the 2009-10 season. A new head coach Gary Crossley was looking to lead a group of girls who had lost their skip, Hollie Nicol, and others to graduation last year. Crossley and the Golden Hawks answered those questions in a big way, claiming the OUA silver and winning their third-straight medal, a bronze, at the national championship. Skip Danielle Inglis and vice Sarah Wilkes were also named second-team all-Canadians.
Men’s Basketball C+
The Golden Hawks’ men’s basketball team featured a youth movement in 2009-10 with rookie Maxwell Allin headlining a crop of future stars for Laurier. Meanwhile, team captain Jesse MacDonald finished his career at Laurier with a superb season to end his career.
The Hawks improved on their 2008-09 season, finishing with a 10-12 record and a first-round playoff upset of the Western Mustangs to earn a spot in the OUA quarterfinals, in which they were ousted by the eventual gold-medal finalists, Windsor.
Men’s Curling C+
Coming off an OUA silver medal in 2008-09, Laurier’s men’s curling team took a few steps backwards this season, finishing with a 4-5 record, and failing to advance to the provincial championship.
Despite the disappointing regular season, the Hawks ended up making the CIS finals after other teams declined to participate. At the national championship, the purple and gold finished with a 2-4 record, not making it out of group play.
Although he did not compete in the CIS championship, third-year Matt Mapletoft enjoyed considerable success on a personal level, representing Canada at the World Junior Curling Championship in Films, Switzerland.
Men’s Hockey C
The additions of rookies like Kyle Van De Bospoort and Mike Gauthier to the line-up signaled a new era of tough physicality for the Golden Hawks men’s hockey team this year. However, due to a lack of timely scoring, this new system did not bear immediate fruit, with the Hawks falling in the first round of the playoffs.
Paul Bradley, picked up from Royal Military College to play his last season, was remarkable leading the Hawks with 42 points, while team captain Jean-Michel Rizk had a solid season with 32 points, but his performance was down from his 51 point campaign in 2008-09.
In net, the Hawks were inconsistent as the tandem of veteran Jeff MacDougald and rookie Ryan Daniels finished the year with unremarkable stats and were not always strong enough to compensate for an inexperienced defence corps.
What really pushed the Hawks down to this grade was their inability to garner wins against serious OUA Western Conference opposition, and the shocking first-round playoff defeat at the hands of the upstart Guelph Gryphons.
Women’s Basketball C
The Laurier women’s basketball team had a tough season, finishing 10-12, which was good enough for fifth place in the competitive West division of the OUA.
Fourth-year guard Renata Adamczyk was once again named an OUA West division first team all-star, as well as OUA West defensive player of the year for the second year in a row.
The first round playoff loss to Lakehead was especially bitter due to how close the game was and a season split earlier in the year, which showed that the Hawks were able to beat the Thunderwolves who had not won a playoff game in 11 years until they defeated Laurier.
Coach Paul Falco and the Hawks should be better next year, as they have a promising young core returning. Despite losing some veteran leadership the Golden Hawks should be able to improve on this team’s disappointing finish to what was a promising season.
Men’s Volleyball D+
It was a tough season for the men’s volleyball team as they finished with a 9-11 record in conference play and just barely missed out on making the playoffs.
The Hawks were hurt by a lack of consistency (at one point they lost five in a row and then won four straight) and an inexperienced roster that features no fourth or fifth- year players. The late surge of success should give the team some hope moving forward and some promise for a better overall result next year.
Women’s Volleyball D-
The Laurier women’s volleyball team had anything but a successful 2009-10 season. The squad finished with an unsatisfactory 6-13 record –29-43 on sets played– for sixth place in the OUA West. Starting the year off in mediocre fashion, the girls soon fell apart and continued to falter for the remainder of the season.
Only one member of the team made a name for herself at the OUA and CIS levels; rookie Julie Gordon was named a second team OUA All-Star, OUA west Rookie of the Year, and a CIS all-rookie team member.
As a team, the Hawks committed the highest number of errors of any OUA West team with 443. The girls will have to get back to the basics if they hope to make any improvements for next season.