The UNB Varsity Reds held their only home swim meet of the season this past weekend at the Sir Max Aitken Pool.
Racing against swimmers from Mount Allison, Acadia, UPEI and Dalhousie, the Varsity Reds had strong showings in several events.
“Each session we seemed to get better and better at racing,” said head coach Robin Ferdinand. “The whole idea is, since we’re still in full training, to get good races in and then in three weeks we’ll get ready to swim really fast and have top performances at Dalhousie.”
The annual Amby Legere AUS Invitational took place on Saturday afternoon and evening as well as on Sunday morning.
“Today was definitely better,” said Ferdinand following Sunday’s events. “People were getting up and racing. We had stronger events for our team today so that helped too.”
The team had strong performances on Saturday from Brandon Warren in the men’s 200m back, Jessica LeBlanc in the women’s 200m individual medley and Charli LeBlanc in the women’s 50m back. On Sunday, UNB did particularly well in the men’s and women’s 50m butterfly.
Nordheim wins award
Varsity Reds men’s soccer midfielder Shea Nordheim won the student-athlete community service award at the AUS awards banquet last week in St. John’s.
Along with serving as a youth soccer coach in his hometown of Winnipeg and with the Varsity Reds youth soccer programs, Nordheim serves as president of UNB’s Right To Play club and assists in fundraising initiatives for cystic fibrosis research through the Great Strides walk in Winnipeg and Shinerama at UNB.
“Shea Nordheim is the perfect example of what every student-athlete should strive to be,” said Varsity Reds head coach Miles Pinsent in a press release. “He is a dedicated athlete who has had to overcome reconstructive knee surgery. He is a committed student who has been named to the dean’s list as well as an academic all-Canadian for each year that he has been a university student. On top of his busy student-athlete schedule, Shea has sought out opportunities to volunteer within the local community and to become a leader on the UNB campus.”
The education student is the first UNB men’s soccer player to win the award. He will be the AUS nominee for the CIS student-athlete community service award.
Crossland named top coach
UNB’s Jon Crossland was named the AUS women’s soccer coach of the year at the conference’s awards banquet in Halifax last week.
Crossland coached the team to a first place finish for the first time in program history. Their 10-1-2 record clinched them a playoff spot for the first time since 2011 and a bye through to the semifinals.
“Jon has quickly turned around our Varsity Reds soccer program with his knowledge, passion, loyalty and his ability to recruit quality student-athletes,” said UNB athletic director John Richard in a press release. “He continues to grow as a CIS coach and our team has benefited from that.”
Crossland will be the AUS nominee for the CIS women’s soccer coach of the year award.
Soccer all-stars named
Several Varsity Reds were named to the AUS men and women’s all-star teams.
On the men’s side, striker Marcus Lees, midfielder Diego Padilha and defender Steven Miller were named first team all-stars. Striker Oliver Jones and goalkeeper Aaron McMurray made the second all-star team.
On the women’s side, striker Sam Lagacy and midfielder Kayla Painter were named first team all-stars. Defender Haley Gates was named a second team all-star.
Final soccer stats
UNB’s Oliver Jones finished second in AUS men’s soccer regular season scoring with 10 goals and two assists for 12 points. His 10 goals were also the second most scored in the conference this year.
Meanwhile, goalkeeper Aaron MacMurray had the AUS’s best save percentage with a rating of .914. The goalkeeping duo of MacMurray and Brandon Eagle allowed just six goals all season, giving the Varsity Reds an impressive +28 goal differential.
On the women’s side, UNB’s Sam Lagacy finished second in scoring with nine goals and three assists for 12 points. Lagacy finished third in conference goal scoring.
High expectations for men’s basketball
The Varsity Reds were ranked ninth in the first CIS men’s basketball top 10 rankings of the year and received more pre-season praise from the Canadian basketball website North Pole Hoops.
The website predicts the Reds to finish third in the AUS with a 14-6 record but believes the team has the ability to contend for conference’s top spot. Writer Deon Wilson also expects the guard combination of Javon Masters and Will McPhee to be one of the best in the country.
The team opens the regular season against Acadia on Friday, Nov. 7 at 8 p.m. at the Richard J. Currie Center.
Buccaneers regular season ends
The UNB Buccaneers inaugural regular season in the Maritime University Field Lacrosse League came to an abrupt ending this past weekend.
Due to Sunday’s storm, the Buccaneers’ regular season finale against the Mount Alison Mounties was postponed and later cancelled, meaning UNB ends the regular season in last place with a 0-9 record.
Every team makes the playoffs in the MUFLL this season. UNB, the No. 6 seed, plays their quarterfinal against the No. 3 seed on Friday, Nov. 7 at 7 p.m. at Dalhousie University.