Power rankings for the 2023 athletic season

The Peak deliberates on which teams will shine this spring

Photo of the SFU hockey team joining in the celebrations after a goal.
PHOTO: Sydney Lau / SFU Hockey

By: Simran Sarai, Sports Writer

Hockey #1 

With three games left in the regular season, SFU is currently sitting atop of the standings with 10 wins and one loss. Forwards Nick Wicks (27 points), Garrett Hilton (18 points), and Mitch Ledyard (17 points) lead the team in points after 11 games. In the pipe, starting goalie Cale Dolan has a 2.79 goals against average with an 8.75% save percentage. After defeating the University of Alaska-Anchorage for the program’s first-ever win against a division I school, SFU is one step closer to becoming back-to-back champions.

Wrestling #2

Currently ranked sixth in the nation, the women’s team has put up strong results in their quest for another championship qualification. Led by sophomore Victoria Seal and senior Emily Cue, ranked second and fourth in the nation respectively, the women’s team is on the hunt to improve last year’s third-place finish

It’s a different story for the men, who are looking to rebound after being unable to compete in the postseason. They can do so with some strong individual performances from returning athletes Taniela Feliciano-Takafua (285 lbs) and Randy McDonald (141 lbs).

Swimming #3

The SFU swim team have had early-season momentum, rallying a total of 22 wins at the Winter Collegiate Invitational in November. They swept all relay competitions and set a new school record. December started no different with senior Jordan Doner winning the women’s 100 m breaststroke. Like Doner, freshman Marcus Mak is a standout athlete to watch after winning events at multiple meets. He has booked himself a spot at the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) championships alongside Doner and other teammates. 

The NCAA Division II Swimming and Diving Championships are sure to be a cutthroat affair, with the College Swimming and Diving Coaches Association of America ranking the SFU men’s and women’s teams in the top 25. Last season, the men’s side finished 14th at the NCAA championships while the women placed eighth: a new best for the SFU swim program.

Track and Field #4

Sitting in the middle of the pack, track and field opened their indoor season on January 13 at the University of Washington. SFU’s track and field program is no stranger to success. Middle-distance runners Aaron Ahl and Alison Andrews-Paul were named Great Northwest Athletic Conference (GNAC) men’s and women’s athletes of the year. Returning junior Charlie Dannatt was named the GNAC men’s outdoor track and field newcomer of the year, while sophomore sprinter Marie-Éloïse Leclair was named the women’s freshman of the year. Despite the departure of several standout athletes, expect the Red Leafs to take the GNAC championships by storm.

Golf #5

The Red Leafs golf teams will return to the green this spring after a brief fall season. During which senior Aiden Goodfellow recorded his first tournament win, while the men claimed first at the Bishop Men’s Invitational in September.

The women’s golf team opened their fall season in dominant fashion, hosting the True North Classic and finishing second, fronted by freshman Chloe Tran and junior Shirin Anjarwalla. After recording a hole-in-one, freshman Izzy Ferguson’s second place finish led the Red Leafs to second overall at the Saint Martin’s Bishop Invitational

Competition is fierce amongst the NCAA Division II golf teams, with the SFU women’s team ranked 49th in the nation, and the men ranked 23rd. The men’s and women’s sides will return to competition in February as they look to qualify for the NCAA West Regional Championships in early May.

Basketball #6

Prior to the start of the season, the men were ranked ninth in the GNAC basketball preseason poll, while the women were ranked fifth. The men sit at a record of 5–10 and are looking for a victory against a conference opponent, after failing to advance past the opening round of championship play last season. In an earlier interview with The Peak, men’s basketball coach Steve Hanson spoke candidly about the team’s expectations for the 2022–2023 season with a roster full of fresh faces. While advancing to playoffs might feel like an ambitious goal for the youthful squad, Hanson is confident in his athletes’ abilities to compete with the top teams in the league. 

Standout junior guard and forward Jessica Wisotzki is putting up impressive numbers as the women record a 5–4 start to the season. Wisotzki is the second-leading scorer across the league, which is a big reason for SFU’s win against nationally-ranked Central Washington University. With a strong returning squad that competed in the quarter-finals last year, the Red Leafs have a chance to bypass the first round. 

Softball #7

Rounding out the rankings after finishing sixth in their conference last season is the softball team. SFU returns to the field for the 2022–2023 season with playoff aspirations after finishing short of a postseason berth last season. This year’s team is chock-full of new faces, with nine freshmen players on the 19-person roster. The departure of seasoned veterans Anissa Zacharczuk, Hanna Finkelstein, and Alex Ogg, means the team will be looking to junior and sophomore team members Megan Duclos and Hannah Beram as leaders.

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