By Jen Pearson
Basketball season has just begun for the University of Calgary Dinos, and the women have proven they are ready to play. After defeating Brandon University 107-60 and 83-49, the team’s experience is evident.
"I really like what I’m seeing in our team this year," said Head Coach Shawnee Harle. "Any time you win your first two league games, particularly at home, I think there is no better way to start."
Harle is returning to coach the women’s basketball team after leading the Dinos to their best season in a decade last year, and her skills are invaluable.
"I think this is by far the deepest team I’ve had in my seven years here," said Harle, who has twice been named Canada West Coach of the Year.
Noteworthy were the performances of Leighann Doan, Jennifer Goldade and Rena Carriere.
"Doan is our obvious leader," explained Harle. "But Jen Goldade has really stepped up into a leadership role."
Carriere’s confidence helped her earn a career-best 18 points.
Harle recognizes the importance of not becoming over confident with the team’s victories, and notes that the team has the ability to play better than they have in the first two league games.
"It’s early season, and we’re still not firing on all cylinders just yet," admitted Harle. "It’s OK. If we were firing on all of them right now, this is quite early to be peaking."
Injured point guard Linnae Bee, recognized for her incredible shooting ability, is currently recovering from knee surgery.
"She’s been working extremely hard to get her knee back to where it used to be, and she gets better every week. We have a long season to be in our top shape," said Harle with confidence.
The Dinos look forward to the challenge the University of British Columbia Thunderbirds will offer on Nov. 3-4.
"We have the ability to play much better, even though we won handily both nights," said Harle.
She believes the team needs a challenge.
"We’ve had a number of easy games that haven’t pushed us and UBC is going to do that."
"If we play the type of game we’re capable of playing, we will sweep both games," said Harle. "If we don’t, UBC has the ability to steal one from us."
Victoria is the only team that stood between the Dinos and the conference championship last year, so they are an obvious obstacle for Calgary. However, Victoria’s team may be solid but they are not indestructible.
Both challenge and promise await the Dinos in the year ahead.
"This team has the ability to become the conference champions," emphasized Harle.
Come out to support the team at the Jack Simpson Gym, Nov. 3-4 at 6:30 p.m.
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