The Dinos field hockey team ended their season on a high note. Their final tournament was played Oct. 22-24 in Victoria, with the team going 0-1-2. Bright moments of the weekend included a one-all draw against the number two University of Victoria Vikes on their home turf.
"It was pretty satisfying, because we knew we could play like that," said Lauren McDougall. "It was nice to pull it all together at the end."
The weekend started Fri., Oct. 22 with a 6-2 loss against the top ranked University of British Columbia Thunderbirds, with Dino goals scored by Allison Schafer and Clare Linton.
Saturday's close match against UVic gave the Dinos a much needed boost of confidence, especially when Linton scored the pivotal first goal after only 12 minutes of play.
"That game was the highlight of the weekend. Everybody was so pumped about it," declared McDougall. "They were so taken aback by that."
While that close game fired the Dinos up for a match against their arch-rivals from the University of Alberta, they weren't quite able take a win from the smarmy Pandas.
"We always have really close games against U of A. We would like to have won that one, but we know we played well," said McDougall.
So what was the team doing that they haven't been doing all season?
"We were communicating more than we ever have," explained McDougall. "The last tournament, we were not getting the shots off."
"We just weren't clicking before," agreed Linton.
"We changed our system of play. We added more offense," said teammate Liz Allan, who also emphasized the change in their mental approach. "We went out there to have fun. We just wanted to play."
This well-played tournament was especially important to Linton, who is in her final year with the Dinos.
"This weekend was extremely positive. It's my fifth year, so it was great to end like this. Everything just fell together."
"It definitely made the season easier to take. We were recognized by our peers for coming out hard and strong. We got some respect back," stated Allan, who is also in her last year.
With spots on the Canada West All-Conference team, Linton and Allan are leaving the Dinos on a high note. Both ladies, who currently train with the national team, had rewarding careers as Dinos.
"My experience has been awesome, I grew up a lot," said Linton. "We've had quite a turnover of coaches and players since I started. I haven't had stability, but it was very educational."
"It's been my life for five years," said Allan. "I don't think I would change it for the world. Any varsity athlete will tell you this. It was so great to be on this team."
The players' fondness for their team has kept their spirits high all season. Despite being acknowledged by the league three years in a row as an outstanding individual player, Allan humbly dismisses the recognition. "I would rather have seen the team do better."
McDougall, who is just starting her career with the Dinos, echoes these positive sentiments.
"We get along so well. We play at such an awesome caliber. It's been a really great year."
Alas, the season is over. Better luck next year girls.