Sports

Semester in review

Semester in reviewphoto by : Chris Parent
written by Dalhousie Gazette Staff
November 22, 2013 12:00 pm
Cross-country leads the pack in this semester's rankings (Photo by Chris Parent)

Cross-country leads the pack in this semester’s rankings (Photo by Chris Parent)

The two-year ‘Reign of Froese’ ended in May, and with the sports section under the supervision of Ben and Dan, there have been some noteworthy changes.

We’ve added some shiny features (who doesn’t love the Ticker and the Water Cooler?), managed to score some sweet covers (we would’ve had more if there were a few more championship teams at Dal), all while sticking with what made the section great in the past: honest coverage, entertaining stories and handsome editors.

You may disagree with us on some things, so naturally we’ve compiled some brief snippets that will surely incite more debate. Enjoy our team ratings and awards, and we’ll see you in the New Year.

 

Report Cards

Authors: Benjamin Blum, Daniel Bergman, Justin Harling and Graeme Benjamin (Author credits marked by author initials at end)

 

Clubbing hard has a whole new meaning this semester. The rugby, rowing and lacrosse clubs all took home hardware, while many of their varsity counterparts fell short. Women’s cross-country successfully brought Dal the first Atlantic University Sport (AUS) championship of the year, and there are still teams who are in the middle of their respective seasons. We’ll save basketball and volleyball for later, but for now enjoy this semester’s report card.

Lacrosse

Grade: A+

Flawless is a word that comes to mind when describing this team. After going 8-0 in regular season play, Dal’s lacrosse team continued their winning ways in the playoffs and won their third straight title—their fifth in six years. Led by league-leading goal and point scorer Ricky Canning, the Tigers flew by the St. FX X-Men 17-10 in the finals. The hard work and dedication of each member on this team is why it is as good as it is. Congrats boys—you guys have once again proved that Dal lacrosse is a force to be reckoned with. -GB

Cross-Country

Grade: A

It was a return to form for the women’s team this year, who rebounded from last year’s championship loss to dominate the regular season meets and win their third AUS banner in four years. The men’s team was unable to prevent an X-Men trilogy of titles, but there’s no shame in silver, right? The women’s team’s inability to crack the top 10 at nationals resulted in a lack of ‘plus’, but certainly a season to remember for the subjects of a recent Gazette cover. -BB

Rugby

Grade: A-

Last year, both the Division 1 and 2 men’s sides fell in their respective finals. This year, the club had a chance to avenge these two losses in championship rematches. Dal did not disappoint, defeating Acadia in the Division 1 match and battling for a close win over King’s in Division 2 action. Add a women’s club title win and it’s safe to say that, despite the personal rooting interests of this former King’s rugby player, Dal rugby had quite the successful campaign. -BB

Rowing 

Grade: B+

Definitely the surprise performers of the semester, Dal’s rowing club came out of nowhere and certainly turned a few heads. The club won their first ever Lochaber Cup, emerging as the top Maritime crew and earning them a trip to nationals in Montreal. Pitted against varsity shells, the club held their own, finishing in the top 10 in both men’s and women’s competitions. Looks like Maritime regattas are the place to be for all you Dal rowing fans out there. -BB

Women’s soccer

Grade: B

In my humble opinion, a B is a generous mark for the women’s soccer team, given the amount of potential they had entering the playoffs. Aside from two pitfalls to the UPEI Panthers and the Moncton Aigles Bleues, the Tigers had a phenomenal regular season, entering the playoffs as the second-ranked team with a 9-2-2 record. However, as we all know, no one really cares about how well your regular season is when you lose in the playoffs—which is exactly what the Tigers did in overtime of the semifinals to the Acadia Axewomen. -GB

 Football club

Grade: B

The team managed to put together a solid regular season, but faltered down the stretch. Early on, they looked like a favorite in the Atlantic Football League. However, they completely fell apart during their last regular season and playoff game. The team has parts to build with, but they need someone to step up in a leadership role if they expect to walk away with the Moosehead Cup. -JH

Men’s soccer 

Grade: B

In a league with numerous talented teams, who each could have won the men’s soccer title on any given day, the Tigers were able to hold their own against some of the top teams throughout the season. Though they struggled to find the back of the net on several occasions, Dal’s men’s soccer team was able to persevere through some top matches and finish as the third-ranked team entering the playoffs. However, after their impressive win over the Acadia Axemen in the quarterfinals, the Tigers’ inability to beat the Huskies came to light once again as they lost the semifinal match 4-1. -GB

Women’s hockey

Grade: C+ 

Yes, the Tigers’ record is a less-than-stellar 3-6-1. And yes, they currently sit in sixth place (out of seven teams) in the AUS standings. But hear us out. Despite attempting to integrate 15 newcomers into the team this season, the Tigers have looked comfortable playing fast-paced, entertaining games. Moreover, given the low expectations following the hazing fallout, this team would have needed to lose every game in humiliating fashion to truly disappoint. As it is, the Tigers have displayed enough youthful promise to justify this section’s belief that the future is bright. -DB

Men’s hockey

Grade: D

At this point, it seems almost unfair to pile more criticism onto Dalhousie men’s hockey. After all, very few people thought this season would end in anything approaching a conference championship. Yet the results so far have been even more discouraging than first anticipated: the Tigers are winless through their first nine games, with no players listed among the AUS’ top-20 scorers. This lack of success cannot be blamed on a lack of effort—several games have been very closely fought—but, as in the university classroom, grades must be awarded on the basis of proven performance. -DB

 

Bezick Evaire was all around the net this semester for the Tigers (Photo by Chris Parent)

Bezick Evaire was all around the net this semester for the Tigers (Photo by Chris Parent)

Gazette awards

Authors: Benjamin Blum, Daniel Bergman, Justin Harling and Graeme Benjamin (Author credits marked by author initials at end)

 

Male athlete of the semester:

Bezick Evraire, soccer

The male athlete of the semester goes to midfielder and second-team all-star Bezick “Bezzy” Evraire. The all-Canadian was a leading presence for the Tigers this season, leading the Tigers in shots with a whopping 42. The power and speed that Evraire brought to the table for the Tigers was clearly evident when watching matches he played in. -GB

Female athlete of the semester:

Ellen Chappell, cross country 

Dal’s lone AUS title this semester was won by the women’s cross country team, thanks in no small part to this semester’s female athlete award winner Ellen Chappell. The runner practically made a second home on the podium, earning bronze and two silvers in three of four meets, including the finals. In a sport where team times are critical, Chappell led the way and was the bright spot on a team with many strong runners. Congratulations to Ellen on the well-deserved award and to the whole team on a successful campaign. -BB

 Memorable moment:

Parkinson’s game-winning goal

This category was probably the most difficult to identify. Looking back on the semester, there were no moments where I sat in the stands with my hands on my head, jaw dropped and completely in shock of what I was witnessing. However, in a semester that I would consider to be disappointing for Dal’s renowned athletic teams, there were still moments that made you be proud to be a Tigers fan. Chief among them is soccer player Victoria Parkinson’s goal in the final minute of Dal’s match against the Acadia Axewomen on Sept. 21. The goal was huge for the team and kept their winning record intact. Also, it was nice to see the men’s hockey team win the Don Wells Memorial Hockey Championship on Sept. 23. And at this rate, with the men’s hockey team sitting at a dismal 0-8-1, it may be some of the only winning we see out of the team this year. -GB

 Moment we’d rather forget:

Cancellation of Academic All-Canadian Banquet

So often we are only concerned with the “athlete” in the student athlete, then one of the few occasions that celebrated the academics aspect was on the verge of cancellation due to budget cuts. Many of the athletes at Dal manage to keep GPAs some students would kill for without 30 hours a week dedicated to competitive sports. Thankfully, the powers that be realized their mistake and are bringing it back for January, but its potential cancellation has been one of many questionable decisions made by Dal with concerns to their dwindling budget. -JH

 Team we’re holding out hope for:

Dalhousie football club

Is there any rational basis for believing Dalhousie’s football team will break through to a championship next season? Probably not. But the law of averages, if nothing else, dictates that something has to finally go right for this squad. After building up an impressive-looking 5-1 record during the regular season, the Tigers crumbled (again) in the semifinal—this time to the 1-5 Holland College Hurricanes. However, in a league where even the 1-5 Holland College Hurricanes can qualify for the playoffs, anything is possible. For that reason, there will always be hope for the Dalhousie Football Club. -DB

 Headline: Team we’ve given up on:

Men’s hockey 

This was a close contest between the men’s hockey team and the women’s hockey team. Both teams have seen better days and that is not likely to change any time soon. Let’s pick the men’s hockey team because the women’s team has at least won this season. -JH

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