Field hockey Head Coach Carl Dalton has a lot to be proud of.
"This year was one of our best seasons ever," states fifth-year veteran Ashley Raeburn, "O.K.--it was definitely the best we've had in the last six years."
The Dinos field hockey team just returned from the final Canada West tournament in Vancouver, touting a 2-2-0 record, and ranked fifth in all of Canada.
"The Canada West division didn't receive the wild card this year," bemoans Raeburn, "Otherwise we'd definitely be at nationals."
The third Canada West tournament opened successfully for the Dinos as they quickly shut down the University of Manitoba Bisons, beating them 1-0. The Dinos typically spank the Bisons to the tune of 7-0, or 5-0, but this game was frustrating as the team had two goals called back due to "umpire stupidity."
"No, seriously, at least one of the goals called back was perfectly legit," Raeburn promised. "But the game-winning goal went to Ali Shafer, a rookie from Kelowna. It was her first goal in university level competition, so that was awesome."
Saturday was the day of truth for the Dinos pitting them against the University of British Columbia and top ranked University of Victoria.
The UBC Thunderbirds snuck two goals past the women, forcing a 2-0 loss which was not indicative of the way Calgary played. The T-birds scored on a penalty stroke and short corner respectively.
Next up was the University of Victoria who finished the season with a record of 11-1-0. The Dinos managed to contain them for most of the game, but lost 1-0.
"It was definitely our best game all year. We had tonnes of attack and wicked passing," says Raeburn. "They got lucky on a penalty stroke and beat us 1-0."
Sunday found the girls feeling vengeful for a victory over arch rivals, the U of A Pandas.
"There was some intense rivalry," remembers Raeburn. "We won 1-0 with a goal off a short corner between Kelsey Barrie and I. It was so wicked to end up our careers like that: beating U of A with my hit that Kelsey touched in."
Dalton is a visiting coach form Australia, who has spent two seasons with U of C.
"Carl is a great coach. He brought a whole lot to our team, helped us gain respect in Canada West, and really shaped field hockey in Alberta."
Dalton plans to return to Australia in March, to continue pursuing his coaching career.