It has certainly been a noteworthy semester for Saint Mary’s Varsity sports teams. A big theme during the first term was the addition of several new faces including Dr. David Murphy as Director of Athletics and Recreation, Perry Marchese as Football Coach, and Jonah Taussig as Men’s Basketball Coach. Now, let’s take a look back at what has happened so far with the teams and what the future holds for them in the second term.
Basketball: As far as the women’s team goes, they have an excellent start to their season. They have a perfect 7-0 record to lead the Conference. This was due in large part to the play of last year’s scoring leader and former AUS All-Star Justine Colley. The team is currently ranked fourth in the country. They should be able to keep that momentum up in the second half of the season.
On the men’s side of things they had a promising start to their season, beating the Memorial Seahawks in a doubleheader both games. Things went sour from there when they lost their next 5 going into the break. The team has talented players that can impact the game like Harry Ezenibe, Johnny Higgins, and Riley Halpin to name a few. The Rod Shoveller Memorial Tournament, starting December 29th, represents the perfect opportunity for the team to turn their woes around and power their way through the rest of the season.
Hockey: The men’s team stands third in the AUS standings, 2 points behind first place Acadia. Players like the League’s leading scorer Lucas Bloodoff, Steven Johnston, and Michael D’Orazio have contributed a lot to the team’s run so far. They appear to be in good position to make the playoffs in the second half. On the women’s side, the team is off to an ok start with a 6-5-1 (Wins-losses-overtime losses) record heading into the break. This is certainly a huge improvement from only winning 1 game last season. Brianna Soper leads the team in scoring with 8 points. We will see what they are able to do in the second half of the season.
Soccer: The men’s soccer team failed in their attempt to win 3 straight Atlantic Conference Championships by falling to eventual national silver medalists the Cape Breton Capers in the AUS Semi-Final after finishing in 2nd in the regular season. Midfielder Derek Gaudet led his team with 7 goals in the regular season. Goalkepper Adam Miller made a huge contribution to his team by winning 8 of his 10 starts, including 7 shutouts. There seems to be some good building blocks to go after another conference banner next season. As far as the women’s soccer team fared, they also lost to the Capers in the AUS Semi-Finals after a 6th place regular season finish. Forward Kara Slawter led the team with 4 goals and Keeper Samantha Bell performed well in goal.
Rugby: The Women’s rugby Huskies did good finishing third in the AUS with an even 4-4 record. They eventually lost to Acadia in the Conference Semi-Final in a conference dominated by the powerhouse Saint Francis Xavier X-Women, who went on to win the national championship. Centre Jean Baker led her team in scoring with 40 points by scoring 8 tries.
Volleyball: As far as women’s volleyball goes, Saint Mary’s is doing fairly well so far. They are currently third in the AUS standings with 8 points, 6 behind the leading Dalhousie Tigers going into the break. The Huskies are the defending conference champs in women’s volleyball. Middle Blocker Nicole McCulloch leads her team in points so far with 114. This first semester has proven to be exciting and have mixed results for all of Saint Mary’s varsity teams. It should be interesting to see how the teams that continue playing next term do in their second halves. It should also be curious to see how the teams that finished this term do with recruiting and other off-season activities to try to improve themselves and set up for a possible championship run. Either way, it should be fun to watch and enjoy.