With more teams wrapping up their seasons as the school year comes to an end, Brock’s ringette team ended their season at the first ever university provincial tournament. Like many other teams at Brock, they had high expectations and were confident in their ability to achieve their goals for the season.
“The goal for this team has always been to bring home a championship from UCC’s. With the addition of a university division at Provincials this year, our goal was not only to put a strong performance at UCCs, but in our other tournaments, and especially AA Provincials,” said goaltender Alyssa Godin.
“We set new standards and records for the ringette program at Brock, bringing home our first tournament medal, and a silver from UCC’s, which is a best for our program. Most importantly we were able to leave a legacy, attracting new players to the program, and building an even stronger team for the years to come.”
It was a total team effort from the Badgers this season. Each player surpassed the expectations of coach Jess Mezenberg, and each player contributed to the overall success of the team throughout the past season. Unlike other sports, the ringette season is based mainly on tournaments.
“Early in the season, we were able to take part in the Oshawa tournament in the university division. We finished the tournament with a 2-2-0 record, finishing fourth in the tournament, failing to advance to the finals. This tournament was a great way to start the year, see how we matched against other universities, and bond as a team,” said Mezenberg.
Despite not getting the result they wanted, the Badgers learned from their experience at this tournament and worked to improve before the next one. While everyone was enjoying their holiday break, the ringette team was away at the 2018 University Challenge Cup in Guelph. The tournament attracts teams from all over Canada.
Despite more teams to compete against, the Badgers earned their first medal of the season, a silver, after losing to Laurier in the final. While it was a tough ending to their tournament, the silver medal was the program’s best performance at the UCC’s to date and was a good sign of things to come.
Following this, the team then prepared to travel to Kitchener for another tournament. The Badgers put together another strong performance and were able to get some revenge after the way their last tournament ended.
“We not only went undefeated in the round robin of the tournament, but defeated Laurier in a UCC final rematch. In the finals, Guelph would take the gold, and the Badgers came home with another silver medal, the first tournament medal in program history,” said Mezenberg.
To end their season, the Badgers participated in the first university ringette provincial tournament. Through six round robin games, the Badgers had a 2-2-2 record, with their wins coming against Western and eventual silver medalist Ottawa. Unfortunately for the team, their experience at the provincials would end there, as they came up just one point short of advancing to the final four. Despite not getting the result they wanted, there were still a lot of positives to be taken from the experience.
“Being a part of the first university ringette provincials was huge for not just Brock, but the development of the sport at the university level. Currently there are nine Ontario universities with ringette teams and we are hoping for the addition of a few more. Since not all get recognition from their respective universities, not all have the opportunity to travel down for UCC’s or Provincials at this time,” said Godin.
This idea was echoed by Raegan Hayter, a second-year member on the team who has a family connection to the sport as her father is the coach at Western, and her sister is a member of the Mustangs.
“It was an amazing experience to be a part off, to be able to see how much the sport has grown since I first started playing. Girls from all different associations being able to come together and participate at the university level and compete to be the best in the province is truly amazing for us girls who have been playing this sport for years. This was very important for ringette and will allow younger players to be inspired to play at this level and be able to represent their university.”
While the team has their sights set high as they move forward into next season, they will be doing so without a couple members of their team from this year. Carleigh Shadwell and Kayleigh Paterson are both graduating, and are two influential players of the team who will be missed going forward.