The release of team schedules and recruiting classes the first week of February have the Wildcat teams’ reality of a season coming true. With the lack of live sports in the previous spring, fall and winter, some student athletes have looked back on their greatest moments from their time at CWU. For some of these seniors, this season has become their most important and challenging one yet.
Basketball forward Kassidy Malcolm said the team’s growth from the past year is an accomplishment she thinks of fondly.
“I’m proud of the accomplishments of my team so far as a program, just like how we’ve progressed the past four years I’ve been here at CWU,” Malcolm said.
When looking back on the previous seasons, a record set against their hated rival takes her top moment playing for the Cats.
“We swept Western Washington [University] which has never happened in program history before for [CWU]Women’s basketball,” Malcolm said. “So that was awesome for us and Western has always been a big rival. Beating them twice was a really big accomplishment for us and we were all super pumped.”
Four-year soccer goalkeeper Emily Thomson’s moment also came against rival Western Washington University (WWU). During a 2018 matchup against WWU, tempers flared as the game came down to the final moments.
“We just totally show up for that game. We played our hearts out,” Thomson said.
This was the first matchup between these two clubs on the new turf in Ellensburg.
“At home on the turf. The turf was new, and we made sure there were lots of people out supporting the game,” Thomson said. “You know, that was really big energy.”
During the second half of the game, Thomson said her penalty kick sparked a rally in her team.
“I specifically remember thinking, we just have to hold on and just keep it tight as possible, because we never really competed with Western since I was there,” Thomson said.
In the 70th minute of the game, the Wildcats tied it up at one all.
“When we scored the goal to tie the game, that moment was just amazing. It was amazing to be on the field and to see the unity that we had,” Thomson said.
Thomson said her save at the end defined her game.
“Me saving that one, that was just my highlight of my entire soccer career,” Thomson said.
For senior linebacker Donte Hamilton, his best moment at CWU was during an away game in California against an old foe.
“We went down to California and beat a team who no longer exists in [Azusa Pacific University] APU and they were pretty good back then,” Hamilton said. “We had an interception late in the game. I had so much fun with my teammates.”
Hamilton said the pregame is what takes his top spot because of a resiliency to succeed in the team’s craft.
“I just remember that week of preparation. We worked so hard,” Hamilton said. “We knew what we had to do to win that game, cause we obviously didn’t start the season the way we like to in 2018.”
With the 2021 seasons on the horizon, more opportunities for moments and memories are set with the new recruitments for each team being announced early this month.