The year was 2001. That was the last time the St. Thomas University Tommies men’s soccer team went to CCAA Men’s Soccer Nationals. That all changed in the 2018-19 season.
The Tommies finished the ACAA regular season with a 7-2-3 record and had five ACAA All-Stars, playing their way to CCAA Nationals at Holland College.
The Tommies return four of those All-Stars for the 2019-20 season, including 2nd Team All-Star defenders James Hill (Rothesay, NB) and Eric Prior (Gananoque, ON) and 1st Team representatives John Hunter (Fredericton, NB) and Kyle Yearwood (Bridgetown, Barbados). Yearwood was a CCAA All-Canadian for the Tommies.
“We will once again be led by 4th year starters John Hunter and Kyle Yearwood,” said reigning ACAA Men’s Coach of the Year John-Ryan Morrison. “Having that experience leading a young team will be invaluable to help the squad reach their goals this year.”
Morrison had a busy offseason, bringing in several new faces for the Tommies, including six new recruits: Josh Niyonkuru, Brett Springer, Liam McCann, Adam and Zach Evelyn and Chidubem Nkoloagu.
“We had a couple of unforeseen departures for two key rookies [from last year] but I have worked extremely hard to find other student athletes capable of filling those holes,” said Morrison. “Recruits like Chidubem, Zach, Josh and Adam have impressed so far in pre-season and others have shown signs of being able to contribute as well. On paper this is the best team I’ve had so I am interested to see how the season goes.”
The Tommies open up their regular season on September 7th when they travel to Holland College in a rematch of last year’s ACAA final.
“Every game in the ACAA is tough,” said Morrison. “Our league is very competitive and the level of competition improves every year. I expect a tough match every time we step on the field so I do not spend too much time worrying about other teams, instead spend time focusing on what we can control and what we want to do on the pitch and see how other teams react to us.”
The Tommies open their home schedule on Sunday, September 15th when they host the UNBSJ Seawolves at 2:00pm.