Canada West women's field hockey preview: T-Birds in search of 9th straight conference crown
Source: Canada West Communication / Photo credit Richard Lam, UBC Athletics
EDMONTON – The 2011 Canada West women's field hockey
season begins on Saturday, Sept. 17.
Here is a look at the four conference teams…
2010 conference record: 1-11 (4th)
2010 playoffs: N/A
Last CW title: 1998
Last CIS title: 2005
Key additions: Alanna Macdonald (M), Lillian Pham (F), Jenny Gluska (F), Nicole Laskosky (F)
Key returnees: Jacqueline Trautman (D), Tory Spencer (GK), Toni Almhjell (F)
Key departures: Jennifer Peacock (D), Carly Presakarchuk (D)
EDMONTON - With a roster featuring 12 returning players, the Pandas look to return to the CIS championship tournament for the first time since acquiring their second consecutive national silver medal in 2009.
Leading the charge will be former CIS Rookie of the Year and multiple All-Canadian defender Jacqueline Trautman. The fourth-year Panda from Delta, BC has been a rock for the Green and Gold squad since her arrival, and will lead this veteran laden squad in their hopes of a national championship berth.
A pair of fourth-years will provide the rest of the defence core, as Melanie Reid and Julianna Cormier work alongside Trautman. Fifth-year goalie Tory Spencer will man the Pandas’ goal, along with sophomore Alyssa Greco.
Up front there is a blend of veterans and rookies to provide the attack, but returning players Kincso Santha, Carly Flemming and Ana Serban will be the key. Freshmen Jenny Gluska, Alanna Macdonald, Lillian Pham and Nicole Laskosky could all see time in either the Pandas midfield or forward positions.
2010 conference record: 9-1-2 (1st)
CIS tournament: 3-2 (silver)
Last CW title: 2010
Last CIS title: 2009
Key additions: Abigail Raye, Sara McManus, Sarah Keglowitsch, Katrina Waldron, Molly Driscoll, Robyn Pendelton
Key returnees: Kirsten Bertsch, Caitlin Evans, Miranda Mann, Natalie Sourisseau, Poonam Sandhu, Bea Francisco
Key departures: Sarah MacAulay, Victoria Pearson, KiraGraham
VANCOUVER – The UBC Thunderbirds are starting the 2011 season with an eye on being a serious contender for the 13th McCrae Cup, a year after losing in the CIS Final to Toronto by a score of 2-1.
Coach Hash Kanjee brings back nearly the entire roster from last year’s national silver medal-winning squad. They include reigning CIS Rookie of the Year and second-team All-Canadian, Natalie Sourisseau, first-team All-Canadian Kirsten Bertsch and star goalie Bea Francisco, while Poonam Sandhu is back after knee surgery.
UBC will also see the return of several players, like Robyn Pendleton, Poonam Sandhu and Abigail Raye, after they missed the 2010 season because of their participation in the 2010 Commonwealth Games in India.
But there will be disruptions. Raye, Sourisseau and Sara McManus will be on Team Canada’s entry at the 2011 Pan American Games take place October 14–30 in Guadalajara, Mexico, while Sandhu and Francisco are reserves.
2010 conference record: 5-5-2 (3rd)
CIS tournament: N/A
Last CW title: 1970
Last CIS title: none
Key additions: Sam Spearn
Key returnees: Courtney Campbell, Carolina Romeo, Stephanie Petrowitsch
Key departures: N/A
CALGARY – With the most veteran-laden team in her career, CIS coach of the year Jenn Swagar has big plans for her 2011 University of Calgary Dinos field hockey team.
A trip to nationals is already in the bag, with Calgary hosting the CIS championship in early November for the first time since 1994. Notwithstanding that fact, however, Swagar expects a big season from the Dinos – with a goal of at least 10 wins in the 12-game regular season schedule.
It’s a high bar for a team that went 5-5-2 last season and finished a point shy of heading to the national tournament for the first time since 1997. But with virtually the entire team returning and a pair of All-Canadians leading the way, the Dinos will not be satisfied with simply being welcoming hosts when the nation’s best arrive at Hawkings field in less than two months’ time.
2010 conference record: 6-4-2 (2nd)
CIS tournament: 1-3
Last CW title: 2002
Last CIS title: 2008
Key additions: F Marisa Davidson, GK Leah Farnan, D Emily Fisher, D Sam Purcell
Key returnees: D/M Jasleen Aujla, D Kyla Kirby, F Courtney Low, F Whitney Siegmann
Key departures: D Katie Bennett, D Perri Espeseth, M Danielle Hennig, G Kaitlyn Williams
VICTORIA - The Vikes women’s field hockey team will be lead by Lynne Beecroft, in her 28th season as head coach. Losing key players due to graduation and national team duties, the squad will be leaning on Canada West all-star defender Kyla Kirby, along with veterans Jasleen Aujla, Courtney Low and Whitney Siegmann.
The team bodes a strong contingency of rookies including goalkeeper Leah Farnan, defender Emily Fisher and forward Marisa Davidson. Freshman and Junior national team defender Kathleen Leahy will join the squad following her rehab from knee surgery.
Last season, the Vikes went 6-4-2 in the Canada West, finishing second behind UBC. The Vikes went on to finish 4th at the 2010 CIS Nationals after losing 3-0 to Guelph. Throughout the 2010-11 season, the Vikes never lost two games consecutively.
The Vikes will be relying on good team chemistry to qualify them for CIS Nationals in Calgary, Alta.