By Ryan Laverty
There is old and new, developed and developing talent on this team. The Dinos women’s basketball team, with Jen Goldade and Natalie Hudec as the two veterans and some rookies with great potential, has a lot of talent around.
However, departing talent has to be replaced by other strong players and everyone on the team will have to step up a notch for next season.
In 2001/02 the team hit several peaks and valleys and will have to work on playing stronger-without those struggles at the basket-to achieve more consistency.
This year, the girls put in a huge effort and achieved decent results throughout the season. Pacemakers like Jen Goldade and Anna Bekkering got the team going and each team member had a chance to show her commitment to the team. However, some girls still have to grow in their play and physical abilities to help the squad go further.
When Head Coach Shawnee Harle leans back on her chair, everything is okay and the girls are playing the way she likes it-strong and as a team. When she walks along the sideline, whistling on her fingers and yelling instructions, she tries to get the girls back together or encourages someone to score. Kneeling down on the sideline is a critical sign-the girls are either behind or Coach Harle is unsatisfied with their play. But if the coach sits down, bends forward and shakes her head while staring to the ground, something really bad has happened-a poor free throw or an unfair decision by a ref.
All the girls have a great relationship with their coach and speak very highly of her and her abilities. With Harle’s record free of losing seasons, the coaching is certainly beyond average.
Even though throughout the season, the squad did quite well, they didn’t finish the season as well as they could have. Last year, the girls made it to the nationals and came home with bronze. This year, however, the team lost in the first round of the playoffs against the University of Alberta. The Pandas were definitely beatable and it was a mixture of a bad day, not enough effort, and "running out of gas" (as Jen Goldade put it), that caused a very clear loss.
Therefore, the girl’s achievement this season limped behind their abilities.
The basketball girls have a talented team, a decent season with a bad ending and a great coach. They have trained their abilities to increase power. For next year, the girls should be able to upgrade their game and hopefully find some emotional players to replace their two leaving and leading ladies.
Compared to other teams, the team’s commitment and the coaching stand out. However, the women’s basketball squad lacked great achievements this season.