The Dinos field hockey team came agonizingly close to collecting their first points of the season at Canada West's second tournament of the season Sept. 29- Oct. 1.
Playing at the University of Victoria's newly constructed field, the Dinos showed marked improvement from the first tournament of the season, but still lost 1-0 to the University of Alberta Pandas, 3-0 to the University of British Columbia Thunderbirds and 5-0 to the University of Victoria Vikes.
The T-birds and Vikes both remain undefeated this season with records of 4-0-2 and 3-0-3 respectively. The Pandas' record is 2-3-1. Despite the fact that the Dinos have a bleak 0-6-0 history so far, there seems to be a lot of parity between the teams as the Dinos' narrow loss to the Pandas suggests. The Vikes squeezed by the Pandas with the same score line on their new home turf.
Third-year defender Teryn Buna felt the Dinos performance was a big step forward from the 16 unanswered goals they conceded during the season's opening tournament.
"They were like wins for us," said Buna, adding the Dinos' eight starting-line rookies had come a long way since last weekend.
This year the first two Canada West tournaments were scheduled back-to-back without the usual week in between, leaving the young Dino squad less opportunity to work out early season problems.
"It's really hard to get through everything you need to," explained defender Lauren McDougall. "It's such a crash course [for the rookie players], but they're really holding their own."
The Dinos finish their regular season at UBC on Oct. 13-14. Coach Anne Kromm thinks her team can finish the season on a high note.
"We gained a lot of respect from the [opposition] coaches, fans and teams," remarked Kromm about the Victoria tournament. Kromm was especially impressed by her rookie goalkeeper Keegan Stewart.
"We had so many penalty corners against UVIC, but Keegan stopped 18," beamed Kromm.
Next year the western conference format will incorporate home and away games rather than a four tournament schedule. This means the Dinos will have three home games spread out during the season rather than at the very start of the season.
Kromm hopes the new format will allow the Dinos' fans to see their team gel and improve over the 2007 season.
"I wish that people from Calgary could have seen their team last weekend," she lamented.