Sports clubs put in stellar seasons

Our non-varsity teams are the envy of their leagues

Ashleigh Myles with Graeme Gunn - December 4, 2013

The Dalhousie Rowing Club capped its season by winning the Atlantic Rowing Championships.
The Dalhousie Rowing Club capped its season by winning the Atlantic Rowing Championships.

While much of the athletic focus lands on the Tigers varsity teams at Dal, our Tier One sports clubs also proudly wear the black and gold and represent the university incredibly well every year. This fall season was no exception.

Women’s field hockey

The team had another fantastic season, going 3-1 at its first tournament, 3-1-0 in the second tournament, and then making it to the Atlantic championship game. Unfortunately, after playing a strong SMU side to a scoreless tie during regulation time, the team lost during the sudden-death shootout.

“The team really had to build,” says coach Linda Bonin. “They took what they learned from the first tournament and took it into the second tournament and then into the playoffs.”

Comforting the blow of a shootout defeat were the honours bestowed upon two of the team’s top players. Nikki Burge was named to the Canadian Interuniversity Sport (CIS) all-Canadian team, while Samantha Spooner won CIS Rookie of the Year honours.

Nikki Burge (l) and Samantha Spooner (r) show off their CIS honours.

Samantha, a 17-year-old arts student from B.C., has been playing field hockey since she was six or seven. Chosen as the country’s top rookie by the league’s coaches, she was cited for demonstrating great skills as starter and striker on defensive corners.

Men's rugby

Dal’s three rugby teams each had banner seasons this year. Tyler Stafl, president of Dalhousie Men’s Rugby, saw the club come full circle since his first year on the team in 2009.

The Division 1 and 2 squads were both coached by player-coach Tyler and former player Ellis Gray. “We found our groove and got back on the winning note,” says Tyler.

The Division 1 team made it to the Nova Scotia championship game for the second year in a row against Acadia. Both teams earned a win against each other during their regular season matches, and the championship match proved to be another hard-fought affair. After trailing 20-14 at the half, Dal bounced back to win 34-23.

The win sent them to the Maritime Championships, where they came out on top once again, with a 20-11 win over UNB in the final game.

“Everyone came together as a team, playing for the person next to them, for the crest, for everything we’d worked for,” says Tyler. “Even if we’re player-coached we can still come out on top.”

The Division 2 team also had a great season on its way to the Nova Scotia championship game against arch-rival King’s for the second year in a row. Last year’s match saw King’s take home the championship with a sudden-death overtime win. But this year Dal found redemption with a closely contested 12-5 win that was decided in the final five minutes.

Women's rugby

The women’s rugby squad went undefeated this year, outscoring their opponents by an incredible 198 points to 53. After beating UNB 60-12 during the regular season, the squad had a tougher match against them in the championship game. But with trys by Hayley Atkinson and Lysa McGrath, Dal came out on top by 12-10.


Flying completely (yet swiftly) under the radar, Dal’s Rowing Club put up some impressive results this year.

A dedicated group of 15 to 20 rowers triumphed, despite early morning practices, six days a week, to post a number of wins in local regattas. But they capped the season in Antigonish by winning the inaugural Lochaber Cup at the Atlantic Rowing Championships.

As the top club in the region, they were invited to compete against some top-calibre crews at the Canadian University Rowing Championships in Montreal. The competition was fierce, but the men finished 9th out of 26 while the women came home 10th out of 26.

“I’m very proud of our team,” says club co-president Rachel Mays. “Everyone was able to make the commitment.”

Men’s lacrosse

The men’s lacrosse squad put in a stellar season in 2013. Finishing the regular season with a perfect 8-0 record (thanks to the league-leading goals and points scorer Ricky Canning), the team trampled the competition in the playoffs and came out on top with a 17-10 win over St. FX in the championship game. Is it any wonder this is the club’s third straight title (and fifth in six years)!

Men’s football

The football team had nothing to be ashamed of with its 2013 season. After an impressive 5-1 start, including an impressive 31-10 win over Holland College, the team tied that same squad in the last regular-season game. That set up a semi-final match-up against Holland College that unfortunately saw Dal come up a touchdown short, falling 21-16. But if the season was any indication of the future of Dal football, the team should be seeing great things next year.


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