This team has a certain amount of talent, but for the past few seasons it has been carried along by one or two players. Unlike many sports on campus, field hockey is generally dominated by players who take up the game in high school and play more or less recreationally until they get to university. It makes it difficult to develop skill when you only play for a few months a year. With a core of young players who now take every opportunity to practise and play, development is assured. But, for this year, it just wasn’t there.
When you aren’t as talented as the teams you’re facing it takes a little something extra to get the W. This team showed great determination and grit at times, but inopportune lapses led to inopportune losses. In sport you can only control so many things and effort is one. In their match ups with teams like the University of Alberta, effort was never really a problem, but it was the inconsistency that killed this team.
In his first year with the Dinos, Aussie Head Coach Carl Dalton changed the team’s focus. Coming from the land down under, Dalton has played the sport pretty much his entire life and has coached for about 15 years. His experience in the sport made him almost overqualified for the job, but as it turned out he learned almost as much as he taught. On the sidelines there was an aura of authority surrounding him. Off the sidelines though was a completely different story. Ask the team if you’re curious about some of his antics.
It must be said that the Canada West Conference is the strongest in the country, but a 3–7–1 record and a lack of playoff berth are disappointing nontheless. Tying the powerhouse from the "Island" was a highlight for the fans at McMahon in September, but the team forgot their intensity the next tournament when they let Manitoba have their only win of the season. Beating
U of A was a moral victory at the end, but the loss to the Bisons proved to be the difference as the Pandas went on and the Dinos went home.
The post-Teresa McLaughlin hangover ended up lasting most of the season. Moments of sobriety brought needed victories, but despite the best efforts of players like Carolyn Fitzgerald and Kelsey Barrie, and the foreign tenaciousness of Dalton, the team fell short of their-and our-goal of making the playoffs. In a B.C. dominated conference, the bottom three teams are left to fight for the scraps and once again the Dinos went away hungry.
Pro Wrestler this team reminds me of: Nikolai Volkoff. Volkoff managed decent results. However, Volkoff, much like the communist ideology he represented, had no chance for ultimate success.