2019 was quite the year for women’s sports. Here’s a recap of the biggest moments in women’s athletics over the past 12 months:
CURLING: The year started off in true Canadian fashion with Jennifer Jones being honoured by TSN as the greatest skip in Canadian History. To her name she has six Scotties titles, two World and an Olympic gold.
U SPORTS: As the U Sports season came to a close, two schools saw some major achievements. UBC women won both the swim team and volleyball national titles as the Guelph Gryphons won their first-ever women’s hockey national title.
NWHL: Lee Stecklein’s shot just 49 seconds into overtime against the Buffalo Beauts led the Minnesota Whitecaps to their first NWHL Isobel Cup win.
CWHL: The CWHL champs were crowned shortly after as MVP Brianna Decker led the Calgary Inferno over Les Canadiennes to what ended up being the final lifting of the Clarkson Cup.
NCAA: The bracket game was strong as March Madness took off. After a tough-fought series, Baylor was able to edge out Notre Dame with a final score of 82-81. Talk about edge of your seat!
IIHF: The International Ice Hockey Federation (IIHF) Women’s Worlds saw Finland come out stronger than ever as the USA took the gold and Canada the bronze.
PWHPA: Big moves happened in the world of hockey off the ice as well as 200 of the top players decided to form the Professional Women’s Hockey Players Association (PWHPA) and start the Dream Gap Tour to bring awareness of the gap in support for women’s hockey and to be the image for young girls to look up to.
GOLF: Brooke Henderson cemented her status as the winningest golfer in Canadian history after winning the Meijer LPGA Classic. With her second 2019 victory and 9th LPGA title she overtook Sandra Post, George Knudson and Mike Weir to become number one.
FOOTBALL: The Saskatoon Valkyries became Western Women’s Canadian Football League (WWCFL) champs as they defeated the reigning Regina Riot 25-3.
BEACH VOLLEYBALL: July was quite the month for women’s sports, seeing Sarah Pavan and Melissa Humana-Paredes win a World Championship gold, meaning they are off to Tokyo 2020! Hopefully it’ll be another highlight come next year.
FIFA WORLD CUP: Heading into the World Cup with all eyes on them, the USWNT came away with the gold medal as they simultaneously fought for equal pay and general respect for women’s sports. Rapinoe’s powerful and controversy-stirring pose drew international attention as she went on to win both the Golden Ball and Boot after noting six goals and three assists. The USA Women’s home jersey even became the top-selling soccer jersey, regardless of gender, to be sold online for Nike in a single season.
TENNIS: Bianca Andreescu became the pride of Canada when she won the US Open as the first Canadian to win a major singles. Not to be forgotten are her earlier wins of the year where she was the youngest WTA Premier Mandatory Champion at Indian Wells, and a Rogers Cup Champion.
WNBA: The Washington Mystics came away with the WNBA Championship this season while recording the best offensive rating in league history. The season saw many other record-smashing moments including Kelsey Mitchell’s nine three-pointers in a single game, Courtney Vandersloot’s 300 assist season and Elena Delle Donne’s 50/40/90 season (the first one in league history).
NWSL: North Carolina won the NWSL Shield and final as they became back-to-back champions. Sam Kerr was their top goal scorer as she broke her own record with 18 on the season.
HOCKEY HALL OF FAME: Hayley Wickenheiser cemented her status as one of the GOATs of hockey as she headlined the 2019 Hockey Hall of Fame class. Inducted in her first year of eligibility, Wickenheiser’s four Olympic golds and seven World Championships led her to be the seventh women inducted into the Hall.
All in all a great year for women’s sports on and off the field. Looking forward to new records in game and in attendance numbers for the coming year. 2020 is the year of vision, so hopefully the views are of the games.