From moments on the court to in the rink, here are our Top 5 Tigers Moments of 2011:
1. Men’s basketball wins AUS title
Led by the AUS all-star tandem of Simon Farine and Joseph Schow, Dal’s men’s basketball team emerged from the regular season in second place on the back of a 14 – 6 record. They continued that streak into the playoffs, knocking away St. FX by 11 points in the semifinal before rolling over Acadia 78 – 47 for their second AUS title in three years.
2. Women’s soccer claims AUS crown
After a disappointing loss in the 2010 semifinal to Cape Breton, the women’s soccer team was supposed to be rebuilding this past season. But a tough style and hard-nosed defence turned the team into serious contenders, able to shut out their opponents eight times over the season.
Following a third-place finish in the regular season, the Tigers went into the playoffs as underdogs but instead they knocked aside UNB and SMU on the way to beating the higher-seeded UPEI Panthers in the finals 2 – 0.
3. Men’s hockey playoff drought ends
After finishing the 2001-2002 season top in the AUS, the Tigers men’s hockey team started on a steady decline, unable to compete with the emergence of a new crop of talent in the conference. Pete Belliveau arrived in town in 2008 to turn the program around and they steadily improved under his watch, last season even earning their first playoff appearance in seven years. Despite being swept in the first round, the team reminded fans that post-season hockey can exist at Dal.
4. Lacrosse: Three titles in four years
One of the least talked about teams to don the black and gold on campus is also one of our most dominant. The men’s lacrosse team won its third title in four years this fall, crushing St. FX 13 – 4 in the finals. The championship capped the Tigers’ 7 – 1 season that saw them score a whopping 133 goals and allow just 58.
5. Swimming dominates, again.
The men’s team picked up its 13th straight AUS title and the women added their 10th last spring, and both are poised to win another this year. These dominant runs mean the Tigers have yet to lose a championship since the turn of the millennium, with no end in sight.
The numbers don’t lie: Dal’s swimming team has picked up 2292.5 points through the three meets, while the total combined score of every other AUS school in competition is just 1732. Dominant.