Fall team previews (Part III)

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Martlet field hockey

After a winless 2012 season in which the team was shut out in half of its 12 outings, the Martlets have their work cut out for them this year as they continue to face extremely stiff competition within the Ontario University Athletics league (OUA).

Their journey out of the cellar will not be made any easier by the fact that Helen Thompson and Emma Whitehall, the team’s two leading scorers, will not be returning. Despite their departure and a large number of new arrivals, there are still familiar faces on the squad’s roster that should provide a solid core. The Martlets have already had a year to grow together as a team, which serves to strengthen their chances. Key returnees include veteran Sarah Main and returning goalkeeper Marianne Emler.

Coaching duties will be split this year, as former assistant coach Vimal Patel joins John-Pierre Turpain behind the bench. Turpain, a fixture of the program and 2008 OUA Coach of the Year, will need to bring back the magic touch from that season as he looks to right the ship this season.

Early results have been cause for cautious optimism, as McGill won all three of its pre-season matches against Queen’s and UPEI. However, the Martlets proceeded to stumble its first two regular season games over the weekend against Western, 0-2 and Waterloo, 1-4.

The story of this season could either be one of redemption, or one of further disappointment for the Martlets. Their next stop is Varsity Stadium in Toronto, where they will take on the Guelph Griffons on Sept. 21.

 

Cross-country

(Luke Orlando / McGill Tribune)
(Luke Orlando / McGill Tribune)

The McGill cross-country program looks to bounce back from a disappointing finish at Nationals last season with high hopes surrounding the young Martlet and Redmen squads.

The Martlets started last season in dominant fashion, winning five of their first six meets. This period included multiple podium sweeps, as well as a triumph at the RSEQ Championship. However, they could not transfer their earlier success to Nationals, finishing in seventh place.

The Martlets should once again be a contender for the RSEQ Championship. They are spearheaded by returning Conference Runner-of the Year, third year nursing major Jessica Porfilio. Other standouts include sophomore Caroline Pfister, who has previously represented Canada at international age-class competitions. Head Coach Dennis Barrett also believes that the young roster has the potential to improve upon last year’s final standings.

The men’s cross-country team faced a similar fate as their female counterparts. A strong regular season highlighted by second-place finishes at the McGill Open, the Laval Open and the Conference Championships was undone by a 16th place finish at the CIS Championships. Søophomore Benjamin Raymond was crucial in last season’s efforts en route to winning the Quebec Rookie-of-the Year accolades.

The Redmen have a promising young core beyond Raymond that includes sophomore Charles Litwin and junior Michael Abramson. The team has also added numerous freshmen to the roster, hoping to create a youthful dynamic.

If early season results are any indication, both the Martlets and Redmen will need to make big improvements should they hope to contend at a national level. While the Martlets are in a good position to repeat as RSEQ champions, the Redmen face a tall task against powerhouse intra-province squads Laval and Sherbrooke.