It was another successful season for the Tommies fall sports teams, which featured club records, finals appearances from the women’s rugby team and then women’s soccer team.
The women’s soccer team came off an ACAA final appearance last season after falling short to the Mount Saint Vincent University Mystics last year. The team was led by their all-star players with third-year centre back Kaleigh Roberts and fourth-year centre back Leandra Upton being named first team ACAA all-star members, while fourth-year centre midfielder Phoebe van der Meulen and fifth-year centre midfielder Louisa Hughes were named to the second team.
The Tommies finished the regular season at the top of the ACAA standings. With an 8-3-1 season record, the Tommies held the first seed going into the ACAA playoffs.
Their first playoff matchup was the Mystics, as the Tommies were able to dethrone them this time 4-2 in the semi-finals. The victory earned the team a spot in the ACAA finals where the Tommies fell to the hands of the Holland College Hurricanes 4-2.
Second-year midfielder Abby Curwin led the team in goals with seven.
One year removed from an ACAA finals trip and a spot in the CCAA Nationals, the Tommies men’s soccer team had high hopes entering the 2019 season.
The Tommies finished their season with a 6-3-3, good enough for third place in the ACAA. Still, head coach John-Ryan Morrison said it could have been better.
“Two of the losses we had 2-0 leads in. And the three ties we should have won,” Morrison said.
STU finished their season strong to gain momentum entering the ACAA playoffs, only allowing two goals in the final five games of the regular season. While sharp on the defensive end, the Tommies also tallied up 31 goals this season, the second most in the ACAA.
But the Tommies struggled in the playoffs. The University of New Brunswick Saint John Seawolves defeated the Tommies in the quarter-finals with a 4-0 win.
“I honestly thought we were going to win it all,” Morrison said.
“We controlled the first 30 minutes of the game and they scored two goals on two mistakes … A lost opportunity for sure.”
The Tommies were led by first team ACAA all-stars Zach Evelyn and Eric Prior and second team all-stars John Hunter and Kyle Yearwood.
This year’s women’s rugby team was highlighted by their new head coach Mary-Kim Schriver. Schriver successfully took the Tommies back to the ACAA finals for a fifth consecutive season where they would meet their rivals, the UNB Reds, once again.
The Tommies fell short in the final game of the playoffs, 34-27.
This year’s team featured multiple all-star players. Olivia Ricketts, Kristen Bulman, Becca Baker and Emily Donelle were all named ACAA all-stars, while Sarah Hetherington was named ACAA rookie of the year.
STU had a 4-2 regular season record this year, both losses coming to the Reds. The Tommies dominated the league’s other teams, out scoring opponents 243-60 overall in their four regular season wins. The Tommies easily handled the Mount Allison University Mounties in the semi-final game, 38-20.
Head coach Mary-Kim Schriver said she thought the season went very well.
“My overall thoughts are very positive,” Schriver said.
“After a trial time of finding best fit positions for them, we settled into a focus.”
This was a tough year for the men’s rugby team. The Tommies failed to produce any wins all season, going 0-6 after a 2-4 record in the previous year.
Third-year centre Zach Klassen said his team lost players but the remaining players were ready for the challenge.
“We lost so many crucial players last year from graduating but we lost about five starters due to injury in our second game,” he said.
However, the Tommies still got a shot in the playoffs to make a run for Nationals. The team traveled across the Confederation Bridge on Oct. 26 to kick-off against the University of Prince Edward Island Panthers. In a hard battle, the Tommies were beaten 51-0.
The Tommies had 20 players in their first or second year at STU this season, giving them hope for seasons to follow.
“The season wasn’t what we were hoping for but every team goes through a major rebuild. This was that year for us,” Klassen said.
The cross country team competed in three meets this fall at St. Francis Xavier University, UPEI and the Atlantic University Sport Championship hosted by UNB.
During the UPEI meet, the Tommies had strong individual performances in the eight-kilometre run, as Lars Schwarz set a Tommies club record with a time of 27:10, good enough to finish second overall, while Ryan Terry finished fourth with a time of 27:30.
On the women’s side, the Tommies’ top runner for the six-kilometre was Priya Bhutani, running a 25:16 time, finishing in 14th place.
In the AUS championship, Schwarz was once again STU’s top runner, with a time of 27:53 in the eight-kilometre race, finishing 23 in the standings. Terry came next with a 30:18 time, followed by Tristan Eisnor who posted a time of 34:17.
Bhutani was STU’s top female runner, posting a 34:58 record in the eight-kilometre race, finishing 33 in the standings. Jensen Elliot was next for the Tommies, finishing with a 39:21 time.