My name is Maggie Poliseno and I am a Montrealer who moved to Halifax to play for the SMU Husky hockey team. I was recruited by Lisa Jordan last season. This issue (termination of SMU Hockey) is already all over the media and news, but I want to tell you, as a first year student athlete here at SMU how I feel and what I think.
I have had the best time and have had many opportunities to create the most valuable memories here at Saint Mary’s and it all started with the head of coaching staff, Lisa Jordan. Keith Hodgkins, Head of Student Services, gave Lisa her two weeks notice today, taking her Huskies away from her. Aside from being the head leader of the Huskies for the last 13 years, Lisa Jordan is a National team coach as well. Lisa was not punished because of bad coaching skills but because of numbers written down on a piece of paper. How are there no alternatives other than "simply" cutting the women’s hockey team ? The Athletics Department was in the same position five years ago, but with a different Head Athletic Director, who said he would absolutely never cut any athletic team from the program. Instead he took matters into his own hands and raised the money and was successful.
Lisa Jordan has always gone out of her way to do what’s best for all of us and she would do anything in her power to make us happy. She reallydoesn’t deserve this at all. Being the first female coach that has ever coached me she is by far the best and the most determined out of them all. I’m sure if you were to ask all the players she has ever coached, they would say the same. Athletic Director, Steve Sarty and boss Keith Hodgkins said that we have gone over the budget and the only way to solve the problem is to cut the women’s hockey team. He mentioned that he could have done something else, but to get the quickest and fastest results would mean the end of the Saint Mary’s women’s hockey program.
Crushing dreams of first year players such as myself and blocking the road for returning players , it appears as though the decision was made long before today. From what supposedly when on in the meeting with Steve Sarty and Keith Hodgkins, neither had any intention or doubt in their minds that this decision was going to change.
Having no hope or pride for the women’s hockey team, they terminated us with a 10 min meeting at 9:45 am March 18th, 2011. Cutting the women’s hockey team at Saint Mary’s is killing a family of 22 girls, along with the hope and motivation for a successful future and education for us. It’s killing passion and finally killing the heart and pride of women’s athletics here at Saint Mary’s University.
This could potentially ruin the future for other female athletes and hockey players that look up to Saint Mary’s female athletes. The ratio of male student-athletes to women student-athletes is now 162 :110. What will happen when all the other small sports teams get cut along the way? Women’s field hockey has already been let go back in August. Now us. Who’s next? Soon enough male athletes will dominate the school and how does that look on Saint Mary’s? How will that reflect society as a whole?
Even though we presently do not have women’s Husky hockey here at SMU, we all know that being a Husky has been a privilege, an honour, an achievement and a success. All the little girls out there will continue to idolize SMU women’s athletes. Girls want too feel the accomplishments that we have all felt. These accomplishment are what have left foot prints in our hearts forever and have made us better individuals.
The only way the Huskies will keep their heads up and move on with their lives is by remembering that the Saint Mary’s women’s hockey team has H.E.A.R.T.
Photo courtesy of Richard Lafortune