by Ryan Szatmary, Vikes Communications
#2 Cassandra Goodis
(ISN) – VICTORIA, B.C. – After nearly five seasons of playing floor general and go-to facilitator for the University of Victoria Vikes women’s basketball team, Cassandra Goodis is on the verge of Canada West history.
With just seven more assists, the Vikes senior point guard will pass former Simon Fraser University star Lani Gibbons with 540, for most all-time assists in Canada West women’s basketball. Goodis, who has averaged 6.5 assists per game in her fifth and final season, could be poised to break the record as early as Friday night, when the Vikes take on Brandon out in Manitoba.
“It’s pretty surreal having my name thrown around with such amazing players,” claimed Goodis this week. “Individual records have never really been something I’ve chased, but what means the most is how excited and supportive my teammates have been about it. To play with a group of people that are genuinely excited and rooting for me is the greatest feeling in the world.”
Much like how she plays night-in-night-out on the court, Goodis was quick to recognize her teammates when reflecting on the accomplishment.
“I’ve been fortunate enough to play with some incredible players in my five years at UVIC who have made my job pretty easy. When you’ve got guards surrounding you that can shoot the ball, and posts that can catch and finish like I’ve been luckily enough to have, passing the ball gets pretty easy.”
Goodis came into her final season with the Vikes sitting fifth on the all-time assists record and has since surpassed three more play-making greats, most recently Jodi Evans from Calgary, to move into second behind Gibbons. Prior to the conclusion of her fourth season last year, Goodis had already claimed the Vikes all-time record, as she passed Vikes legend Lisa Koop whose 414 assists between 1992-1998 had been the previous high. Vikes broadcaster and former women’s star Kim Graves (neéJohnson), who played with Koop, mentioned that accomplishment in itself deserves high praise.
Current Vikes head coach Dani Sinclair has had the opportunity to see Goodis develop since she first arrived at UVIC from Penticton in 2009 and commended the positive impact she has brought the program.
“From day one as a rookie, she brought a high level of intelligence to our team and has always been like a coach on the floor,” said Sinclair. “Most impressive is how her leadership abilities have developed and grown. We have a number of young guards who look up to her a great deal, and she has excelled in this role as our leader.”
Coach Sinclair added that Goodis should be extremely proud of the company she finds herself in at the top of that list and achieving the milestone represents both an individual and team accomplishment, something everyone on the squad this season, as well as in previous years can be proud of.
While Goodis is poised to break the Canada West assist total, she is also closing in on another Vikes record, as she current sits 12 steals back of Lindsay’s Anderson’s 269. Achieving that mark would also place Goodis second all-time for steals in Canada West.
More importantly for Goodis, Sinclair and the rest of the Vikes squad, the march towards history comes in the midst of fantastic second half turnaround for the team, who have a 7-1 record in the Canada West since the start of 2015. The current streak has vaulted the Vikes right back into Canada West contention and a continued run may possibly provide Goodis the opportunity to play in a CIS Final 8 for the first time in her outstanding career.
While the Vikes star may break the record on the road in Brandon this weekend, it seems somewhat fitting that the last assist she got at McKinnon prior to breaking the record may have been on the last-second dish to Vikes rookie Amira Giannattasio, who’s buzzer-beating jumper on Jan. 31 clinched the Vikes a play-off spot.
If Goodis fails to record five assists between Friday or Saturdays games in Brandon, she’ll have another opportunity on the final weekend of regular season play at MacKinnon Gymnasium on February 13 and 14 against Trinity Western.