The Blues men’s soccer team shone again this season, finishing third in the Ontario University Athletics (OUA) after losing to eventual champions York in the semifinals. Paced by East division MVP Kilian Elkinson’s team-leading 11 goals, the Blues breezed to a 13–4–2 record.
Although the Blues will lose Elkinson to graduation, they still figure to be a force next year with returning starting goalkeeper Rab Bruce-Lockhart and all-stars Lukas MacNaughton and Devon Bowyer.
Not to be outdone, the women’s Blues soccer team finished third in the OUA East division with a record of 10–4–2. The Blues defeated Laurentian in the first round of the playoffs, but narrowly lost to University of Ontario Institute of Technology in the quarterfinals by a score of 2–1.
The duo of returning sophomores Nicki Parkes and two-time all-star Claudia Piazza seek to lead the Varsity Blues into next season.
Led by head coach Greg Gary, who is now in his fourth year of coaching, the Blues limped to a 2–6 record this season. However, those two wins came by a combined score of 131–13, and a number of losses weren’t decided until the final quarter.
The team set several offensive records, for total yardage (3,772 yards), pass attempts (330), and completions (205) in a single season.
All that passing led quarterback Simon Nassar to break the school’s single season record for completion percentage (63.93 per cent). It also opened up the run game as the Blues’ top three RBs averaged over seven yards a rush.
After blanking Guelph and York in the OUA playoffs by a combined 8–0 score, the Blues seemed well on their way to a championship by surrendering only one goal in three Canadian Intercollegiate Sports (CIS) round robin games.
However, it was not meant to be, as the Blues dropped the final to the University of British Columbia by a score of 2–0. The Blues will lose senior CIS MVP Amanda Woodcroft; however, they will return with leading scorer and All-Canadian defender Alison Lee, as well as reigning coach of the year John DeSouza.
The Blues will seek to build on a disappointing 4–18 campaign in 2013, with a pair of National Collegiate Athletics Association division 1 transfers.
Julian Clarke, coming from Santa Clara, and Manny Sahota, coming from Cornell, will look to guide first-year point guard Sage Usher as the team tries to end a three-year streak of losing seasons.
The Blues hope that their luck will change as they enter a new era in a new stadium: the Ron Kimel Field House in the Goldring Centre for High Performance Sport.
The women’s basketball team will try to improve after a solid ending to last season, culminating in a fourth place finish in the OUA East.
Returning fifth–year co-captains Jasmine Lewin and two-time OUA all-star Jill Stratton will team up with incoming transfer student Abena Addo (formerly of McGill) and second–year Diedre Edwards to form a formidable and experienced backcourt.
Entering a year that will end with the CIS tournament held in the Goldring Centre, the Blues have high hopes for the upcoming season. The hype is warranted, as the Blue and White began the season ranked seventh nationally, and already has been bumped up to fifth.
The reason for this is the stellar play of fifth–year veterans Charlotte Sider and Jennifer Neilson. The dynamic duo have combined to lead the team in kills the past two seasons, with Sider being named CIS all-Canadian last season, and Neilson earning an OUA all-star nod.
They will be charged with grooming the next great generation of Blues volleyball, headlined by newcomer and all-Ontario left side hitter Anna Feore.
James Turner, OUA all-star and Panamerican team member, will lead the men’s track team after placing first in the 100-metre at the Canada games. He will be helped out by teammate Greg MacNeill, who earned three medals at the event. The first meet for the Blues will be the York Christmas Open on November 29.
Three-time women’s CIS coach of the year Carl Georgevski, in his twentieth season, will take on the challenge of winning the Blues’ first OUA title since 2004–2005. He will lean on the performance of Gabriela Stafford to achieve this goal.
Stafford represented Canada at the International Association of Athletics Federation World Junior Championships this summer, and was named an OUA all-star. After finishing second in OUA last year, the Blues will be hungry for first this season.