The highs and lows of the Varsity Blues’ year

How the major teams fared in 2019, and what they can work on going forward
ISABELLA CESARI/THE VARSITY
ISABELLA CESARI/THE VARSITY

The Varsity Blues have had many successes so far in the 2019–2020 season. Various teams exceeded our expectations, and have much to build on, while others still have much work to do, but can feel confident going forward.

Men’s hockey

After a disappointing season in 2018–2019, the men’s hockey team has turned their fortunes around substantially. They currently have a 17–3 record in Ontario University Athletics (OUA) play, and went on a 14-game winning streak before the winter break. Leading scorer David Thompson has already surpassed his season total in points from last season, with eight games still to come.

Joey Manchurek is also scoring at over a point-per-game pace, and Nathan Hudgin has emerged as a top offensive threat on the team. Last season, Manchurek was the only player to score at a point-per-game clip for the entirety of the season.This year, they have five such players.

The Blues are in first place in the OUA West conference and tied for first in the whole OUA. The Varsity Blues hope that their streak was not an anomaly and that they can continue this level of play going forward. Their ability to keep the puck out of the net should be a sign that their play is sustainable going forward, although they may not go on another winning streak as impressive as their last.

Women’s hockey

Not to be outdone, the women’s hockey team has also continued their strong run of play from last season. They currently have a 11–5 record, and are 7–1 in front of their home fans. They sit in first place in the OUA standings. Their defense and goaltending has led the way — only having allowed 23 goals in 16 games — first in goals against other teams in the OUA by a wide margin.

The women may want to work on their goal scoring going forward as their rate is rather low compared to other teams in the OUA. None of their players currently sit at a point-per-game pace, but the scoring has been spread rather evenly throughout the roster. However, if their defense and goaltending holds up, they are still likely to be contenders for the OUA championship.

Football

After the 2018–2019 season which saw the football team go 0–8, this year’s group had a rather promising start to this season. They won games against Windsor University and Wilfrid Laurier University to give them a 2–1 record.

However, this was followed by five losses, putting them at a record of 2–6. The one main positive that came out of this season was the play of quarterback Clay Sequeria. He lead the OUA in both touchdowns and passing yards per game. The Varsity Blues are looking to take advantage of his final year of eligibility next year and make a run for it at the OUA playoffs.

Men’s basketball

The men’s basketball team has had a rather rocky start to the season. They currently sit at 4–8 and are fifth in the OUA central conference. They haven’t been able to hit shots consistently, attaining only a 0.365 field goal percentage so far this season. They have allowed their opponents to hit 44.4 per cent of their shots in front of their defense.

Although they’ve had some thrilling wins against York University and Brock University in front of their home fans, they haven’t been able to consistently beat some of the top teams in the OUA to assert themselves as real contenders for the Wilson Cup.

Women’s basketball

Much like the men, the women’s team is getting rather disappointing results so far. They are at a 2–10 standing this season and haven’t been able to get any sort of momentum going. Their offense has been rather stagnant, scoring only 57.3 points per game, while allowing almost 71 points per game.

They have lost a great deal of opportunities at the charity stripe, shooting only 67.9 per cent from the free throw line. They’ve also only been able to win one game in front of their home fans, resulting in a record of 1–4 at the Goldring Centre.

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