Fairy tale endings are rare in real life, but a player and coach duo will walk into the sunset having written the ideal final chapter to their field hockey careers at the University of Victoria.
The Vikes women’s field hockey team captured their fourth consecutive U SPORTS Women’s Field Hockey National Championship in a 2-0 series sweep over the York University Lions on the UVic Field Hockey Turf on Saturday (Nov 5).
The story’s unique hook transcends generations as the legendary Lynne Beecroft, nicknamed Buzz, tied the bow on a 39-year coaching career by winning her 15th national title. UVic has never won a national field hockey title without Beecroft at the helm.
Beecroft watched as U SPORTS Player of the Year Anne Mollenhauer donned her Vikes uniform for the last time. Her collegiate career in turn reached a crescendo when she received tournament MVP honours while scoring one of the two key goals in UVic’s 2-1 win.
“Honestly, it’s kind of surreal,” said Mollenhauer. “It’s hard to put into words the emotions I’m feeling right now — I don’t think that it’s really hit me yet. It feels amazing to be able to help Buzz finish her career by winning a championship at home. This is such a great team and group of girls who are all like sisters to me, it’s special.”
This isn’t the first time Beecroft has reached the top with a Mollenhauer. She won a championship with Anne’s mom Nancy in 1984.
“This feels very special because I knew it was my last year, so it’s a great way to finish,” said Beecroft. “I started my coaching career winning a championship with Nancy Mollenhauer (Charlton) in 1984 and now I’m ending my coaching career winning a championship with Anna Mollenhauer – it’s a perfect ending.”
A second mother-daughter combination was also celebrated as former Vike Kolette Cristante saw her daughter Judy claim the national title.
“Not many people get the experience of sharing the same university coach with their mom, so I think that makes this extra special,” said Mollenhauer. “Buzz is a legend it’s hard to believe she is retiring.”
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