For today’s Free Press, I wrote a feature on Courtnay Pilypaitis and May Kotsopoulos, star players on the University of Vermont women’s basketball team. They are part of a pipeline gushing from Canada to the Catamounts. Here’s a few fun facts regarding the proud tradition of Canadian players shining for the UVM women’s basketball program:
- 23 Canadians have continued their careers at UVM.
- Canadians have led UVM in scoring 13 of the last 18 years.
- Canadians have led UVM in rebounding 14 of the last 18 years.
- Joann McKay of Kirkland, Quebec was UVM’s first Canadian standout. She graduated in 1988 with 1,833 points and 933 rebounds.
- Karalyn Church (2000 graduate) of Guelph, Ontario is UVM’s all-time leading scorer
- Sheri Turbull (1994) of Windsor, Ontario is UVM’s all-time leading rebounder
- Lori Taylor (1998) of Markham, Ontario is UVM’s all-time assists leader. She also leads the Catamounts in 3-pointers, although Pilypaitis is only four treys away from breaking that record.
- Dawn Cressman (2003) of Guelph, Ontario has the most games played
- Christie Lauzon (2000) of London, Ontario owns the records for best 3-point percentage and free-throw percentage.
- The only two UVM women’s players have their number retired: Church (#20) and Turnbull (#30).
- Of the five Vermont players to claim America East player of the year awards, four of them are Canadians: Church twice, Turnbull twice, Pilypaitis.
- UVM’s single-game scoring record is 40, achieved by Turnbull and Pilypaitis.
- Kotsopoulos is the only UVM player to nab the America East defensive player of the year award.
- There are six Canadians — all from Ontario — on this year’s Catamounts: Pilypaitis of Ottawa, Kotsopoulos of Waterloo, Kristine Lalonde of Sudbury, Lauren Wheeler of Ancaster, Lauren Buschmann of St. Catherines, Kendra Seto of Oshawa.
A few weeks ago, during UVM’s basketball Media Day at Patrick Gym, I asked UVM women’s basketball coach Sharon Dawley about the Catamounts’ Canadian flavor. Sitting three seats down from her at the podium, Maurice Joseph proudly raised both arms in the air. Of course, we can’t forget about Montreal’s MoJo. David Hehn’s winning shot in the 2003 America East championship game is another example of Canadians doing special things for the Catamounts.