The 2018-19 season had the Tommies making strides to bringing home their first Atlantic Collegiate Athletic Association banner since the 2013-14 season.
With a solid core returning from last year’s team that went to the semi-finals of the ACAA Championship, head coach Fred Connors was pleased with how the season panned out.
“The coaches feel this has been a fantastic season,” said Connors, who has been the head coach of the program for 17 years. “We have a young group with a solid core returning. Finishing 17-4 and nationally ranked 7th was a huge accomplishment for this team.”
The women went 17-4 through the regular season, good for second in the ACAA. They consistently got better as the season went on, and that showed in the way they handled the third place Mt. Allison Mounties, beating them in their final three matchups, including the ACAA semi-finals. Unfortunately, the Tommies couldn’t punch their ticket to the CCAA Championships, falling in the ACAA final to the MSVU Mystics.
The Tommies were led by both their veterans and youth, as was evident in their ACAA awards. 3rd year guard Bridget Frazee was named 1st Team ACAA All-Star and CCAA All-Canadian. Frazee led the ACAA in total points through the season. Joining Frazee as a league All-Star was 4th year guard Lainy Dow, who was named to the 2nd team. The Fredericton, NB native was always counted on to play lock down defense and finished 10th in the ACAA in scoring with 11 points per game. Rookie Vanessa Soffee took home the league’s Rookie of the Year award, after averaging 7.5 points, 4.0 rebounds, 2.6 assists and 2.4 steals per game.
“I don’t know what else I can say about these three,” said Connors about his award winners. “They had fantastic years for sure, but I feel it can easily get lost that we had many players really grow and develop and were very unselfish after the break. If our team doesn't play well and together as a unit then the award winners don’t win those awards. That’s what I like most about our group, they are excited for the three that got awards. They aren’t jealous. They know that they were getting awards on all of our behalf.”
Connors isn’t taking his eyes off the team’s ultimate goal and knows exactly what it’s going to take for his team to return to the top of the ACAA.
“We are expecting to be back in the championship game and we are expecting to win it. With the core group coming back and recruits that we have coming in to add to our depth anything less than that would be an insult to their hard work and growth.”
He summed up the season in a one simple saying.
“We were one game from winning a championship. If that doesn't motivate them to come back better after the summer, then I don’t know what else will.”