Rugby team ends Canada West sea­son with a win over Di­nos

Lethbridge Herald - - HERALD SPORTS - Dale Woodard LETH­BRIDGE HER­ALD

The Uni­ver­sity of Leth­bridge Pronghorns women’s rugby team made sure Jil­lian Tataryn, Eden Hoff and Fisayo Latilo went out as win­ners. Math­e­mat­i­cally elim­i­nated from play­offs, the Horns capped off their Canada West sea­son with a 23-15 win over the U SPORTS fifth-ranked and pre­vi­ously un­de­feated Cal­gary Di­nos Thurs­day night at the Uni­ver­sity of Leth­bridge Sta­dium, fin­ish­ing the sea­son at 2-4.

Sta­tis­ti­cally speak­ing, the Pronghorns man­aged to hand the Di­nos their first loss of the sea­son thanks to a pair of late tries that sealed the deal, but be­yond the over­all num­ber crunch­ing was the im­por­tance of giv­ing their grad­u­at­ing trio the proper send­off.

A win and a spe­cial post-game cer­e­mony and photo ses­sion com­plete with a pre­sen­ta­tion of a per­son­al­ized cap­i­tal “H” for each vet­eran did so nicely.

For Hoff, a his­tory of knee in­juries dat­ing back to her high school years threw up some road­blocks for the prod­uct of Claresholm.

But on Thurs­day night, she was rec­og­nized with a send­off that pro­duced some tears.

“I've had two knee surg­eries,” said Hoff, who played on this year’s team with sis­ters Siena and Sofia. “I tore my ACL in my Grade 11 year and didn’t get to play in Grade 12. (But) I knew I wanted to come here, I wanted to be a Pronghorn since Grade 8. So it was al­ways a dream and I worked to­wards that and I ac­com­plished it.” But the knee prob­lems resur­faced. “In my third year I tore my ACL play­ing sev­ens,” said Hoff. “So it was a ma­jor re­con­struc­tion, a full year out which was re­ally hard and that was my fourth year.”

She still has an­other year of el­i­gi­bil­ity, but those knee in­juries have Hoff hang­ing up the cleats.

“But this is what I've been work­ing to­wards for five years, es­pe­cially af­ter be­ing in­jured it was re­ally im­por­tant for me, not just for my­self, but for my team­mates in those five years,” she said. “It's just so awe­some to be sur­rounded by my friends and my fam­ily in this pro­gram in this city. It’s just a per­fect end­ing, I couldn’t ask for any­thing else.”

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