With the end of the first semester of classes, the University of Saskatchewan Huskies just had a well-deserved winter break. Some teams, such as soccer and football, are finished for the year, and some, like hockey, will be back this January.
In the wake of term one’s final academic grades, the Sheaf has put together a report card for each of the U of S Huskie Athletics teams.
Starting the season with three wins in a row, the first two of which were against the Lethbridge Pronghorns, it looked good for the men’s soccer team. They finished the season with a record of 7-5-2 and a playoff spot. However, they lost to the Thompson Rivers WolfPack in the quarter-finals with a score of 5-1, ending their season. U Sports named midfielder Kwame Opoku to their national all-rookie team after his impressive performance this season.
The women’s soccer team came off a third-place finish in the Prairie division last season, and although they dropped the consolation final, they had high hopes for this season. They finished with a 7-3-4 record, which allowed them to clinch a playoff spot. However, much like the men’s team, they lost in the quarter-final against the University of British Columbia. Three players, fifth-year students Jennifer Miller and Leesa Eggum and first-year student Megan Ripplinger, were chosen for the Canada West all-star teams.
Second-year student Courtney Hufsmith finished fourth place in the women’s eight-kilometre run at the Stewart Cup in Edmonton. She was the top Huskie, as she finished with a time of 31:48. She also came home as first overall at the Cougar Trot in Regina and the Sled Dog Open in Saskatoon earlier in the season.
However, the men’s team did not do as well, with second-year student Stefano Zanotta coming in at the top in terms of Huskies athletes, but placing 40th overall in the men’s eight-kilometre run at the Stewart Cup.
The football team started out looking good. They had a win against the Manitoba Bisons with a score of 44-23. This was their first win against the Bisons since 2014, so morale was up. However, they finished the season with a record of 2-6 and did not make it to playoffs. Fourth-year Sean Stenger and fifth-year Mitch Hillis were both named Canada West all-stars for their performances this season.
The men’s volleyball team started out the season with an eight-game losing streak, but they pulled it together, managing three wins in their last four games. They are currently sitting at a 3-9 record with six points and will be back this January. The team still has a chance to secure a playoff spot if they improve their score over the next couple of months.
The women’s volleyball team is looking a lot better than the men’s team at this point in the year. The women’s team started the season with a win and a loss in their first weekend, which has set the tone for their season so far, as they are currently sitting at 12 points and a record of 6-6.
The women’s volleyball team still has a good chance of taking a playoff spot if they keep it up after the winter break.
The U of S hosted the Huskie Open, where the men’s wrestling team finished second overall and the women’s wrestling team finished third overall. The Huskies wrestling teams pulled in three gold medals, one silver medal and six bronze medals over the course of the Huskie Open weekend, and Taylor Follensbee was named the most outstanding female wrestler at the tournament.
In competitions away from home, the Huskies have been doing fairly well, with top finishes at both the University of Regina event and their exhibition meetup at the Jimmie Open. Both wrestling teams will be returning for tournaments and championships in 2018.
The men’s hockey team started the season strong and has stayed strong the whole way through. They are currently sitting at 13-3 with 27 points, after a five-game winning streak that the team will seek to continue on Jan. 5.
Four players — team captain Kendall McFaull, goalie Jordon Cooke and forwards Josh Roach and Logan McVeigh — were recently named to the U Sports Men’s Hockey All-Star Team.
With a win and a loss in their first weekend of the season, the women’s hockey team could have gone either way. With 28 points and a 9-7 record, they ended the first half of their season with a win against the Regina Cougars at the beginning of December. The team won the game 1-0, with team captain and fifth-year student Kaitlin Willoughby scoring the winning goal.
The men’s basketball team won their exhibition game with a score of 85-77 against the Mount Royal Cougars in the Graham Shootout Tournament, but the team has gone downhill from there. They will be back in action in January but are currently sitting at 2-8 with only four points and a six-game losing streak. However, there is still hope that they can come back from this and make it to the play-offs.
The women’s basketball team is looking great this season. They started term one with an eight-game winning streak and have only lost one game so far. The team is sitting at a 9-1 record with 18 points, and it looks like they will be heading into the playoffs if they continue to play this well in 2018.
Lyndsay Afseth / Staff Writer