With the AUS Women’s Basketball Championships looming at the Sullivan Field house here in Sydney this weekend, I have had the opportunity to talk with fifth-year guard Kelsey Hodgson of the Cape Breton University Capers women’s basketball team. Agent #14, the top scorer in Canadian University Sport for the past two years, is looking forward to hosting the AUS championships on their home court.
“The team is super pumped to be hosting the AUS championship. The girls have been talking about this since last year’s final at Dalhousie and now it is finally here, it’s crazy! I knew since my recruiting trip to CBU that the AUS championship would be hosted here in Sydney with the way the tournament cycles for my fifth year. I guess it was sort of a recruiting ploy for me actually,” she said with a laugh.
The 5’10” guard from Fredericton, New Brunswick played all five years here in Cape Breton. It is very hard to believe that Coach McKenzie was one of the only coaches to really recruit Hodgson who has been one of the best players in AUS history (ranked seventh in AUS all-time scoring). Hodgson has put up the highest scoring season in the AUS with a whopping 515 points in one season and has recently taken over former CBU stand out Janice Moseychuck for being the top scorer in the history of CBU Women’s Basketball. A member of the National Development team, which competed at the World University Games in Serbia this past summer, she knows that the Capers will be the team everyone is chasing for the AUS crown.
Even though the Capers are the top team in the tournament with a record of 19-1, and ranked #4 in the country, Kelsey is quick to point out that she does not want to go out like some of the seniors she played with in the past. The Capers have won championships in 2004, 2006 and 2009 but have not been able to repeat as champs, something Hodgson plans on rectifying.
“Personally to go out as a champion is necessary for me. Tash (Natasha Eadie a 2 time 2nd team AUS all-star from Montreal) and Tamara (Tamara Alleyne former AUS defensive player of the year from Sydney) both went out with a disgusting taste in their mouths when we lost to Memorial in my third year at Acadia and I am not about to make that the way I finish my CIS playing career” stated the 2008-2009 First Team All-Canadian. “As long as we stay focused and utilize our time in practice and prepare to face the teams that we may play Saturday the 27th, then we should be good to go. We just have listen to the two big guys on the bench [bench boss Fabe McKenzie and assistant coach Doug Connors] and be ready to out work our opponents and we should be able to win a banner here at home in front of a crazy crowd!”
Hodgson believes that her squad has what it takes to repeat as AUS champs and also believes that the lady Capers can make some real noise at nationals this year.
“I started my first year with an appearance at nationals and I feel it is only appropriate to finish on the same note, except with three wins and a CIS championship.”
The Atlantic University Sport (AUS) Women’s Basketball Championships take place at Cape Breton University this weekend, February 26-28. Tournament passes are available now with general seating packages costing $20 dollars, students and seniors $12, and CBU students and children 5 years and under get free admission. For more information contact the CBU athletic department at (902) 563-1277.