The last five seasons have been successes for the Dinos women's soccer team. But despite making their fair share of Canada West playoffs, the girls were unfortunate and haven't made nationals since 1998--before any current players' time.
For departing Co-captains Megan Dourado and Joan Hall, there were still many good memories though. Neither team leader will return to the Dinos squad next year, and cited their teammates and Head Coach Robin Slot as the parts they will miss the most.
Although Dourado has a semester remaining before receiving a BA in Sociology, she already knows she will likely return to school. In her five years as a Dino she was named a CW playoff All-Star, a CW First-team All-Star, a CIS All-Canadian as well as an Academic All- Canadian.
"She did very well on the field, being a CIS All-Star," boasted Slot on the humble Dourado's behalf. "She also did quite well academically."
What will Dourado look back upon most fondly?
"Every Canada West final or major game," she said with enthusiasm, recalling a game against the Trinity Western University Spartans that was taken right to a shootout as one of her favourites, despite the resulting loss.
Hall, too, has fond memories of CW playoff competition. Despite only four years on the team, she has already obtained the credits required for her communications degree and plans to travel "wherever the wind" takes her for a year. Upon her return, the current plan is to complete a Masters in Communication.
"She's a well rounded individual," Slot said of Hall, who was a three-time Academic All-Canadian as well as making the Dean's List.
The intelligent athlete hopes to get into ultimate and squash while continuing playing some soccer now that she'll have a bit more time. But she knows where her heart will always lie.
"It's a life sport," Hall described of soccer, remembering how much time she spent playing it while obtaining her degree. "Being a Dino was my university."
Both ladies were a core part of the team on and off the field. Their leadership will be missed as a new crew of rookies begins training next fall.
"Their leadership has certainly helped the younger players," Slot called to mind.
While Dourado and Hall were a backbone to the team, success doesn't come without a skeleton. And the Dinos still have plenty of skeletons left in the closet who will continue on successfully as new backbone forms from the younger players and new rookies join the web.