People say that repeating a championship season is one of the hardest things to do in all of sports. Michelle DeCourcey and the Tommies' women’s soccer team will look to prove that adage wrong.
The 2017-18 season saw the Tommies make a strong run through the ACAA Championship and walk away with their first ACAA title since 1999-2000. To repeat that sort of success DeCourcey, the team’s head coach, will look to a key core to both produce on the field and lead off of it.
“We're entering the 2018 season with a wonderful mix of experience and youth and are looking to compete for another ACAA championship,” said DeCourcey. “Our 2017 starting line-up, including our four ACAA first and second team players and keeper Mary Cronin, will be returning this season. We'd like to see them take on leadership roles and make an even bigger impact this year.”
Making second team all-conference were wing back Victoria Muise and centre back Kaleigh Roberts, while centre midfielder Louisa Hughes and striker Nikita McCartney were named first team all-conference.
McCartney, a Moncton native, led the Tommies in goals last season with nine, good for 64% of the team’s total goal output on the season, and second overall in the ACAA.
“Nikita is always looking for opportunities to score and has the speed, skill and determination to make it happen,” DeCourcey said about her striker. “She is by no means a one-dimensional player. NIkita is a hardworking defender, smart playmaker and deadly striker.
"Victoria had an immediate impact her rookie season and was a 90-minute player almost all last season. She’s a smart, gritty defender who is able to push forward and join the attack. Kaleigh has been an ultra-reliable defender for us during our run last year. Louisa was one of the most skilled players in the league and was a team leader for 90 minutes of every game last year. She is calm and composed on the ball and able to switch the point of attack with ease.
It’s not just the returning core that has DeCourcey excited. There are some talented young players being added to this year’s squad, including centre midfielder Abigail Curwin, wing midfielder Robyn MacPhail, defender Jessica MacWilliams, and centre midfielder Leandra Upton.
“We’re welcoming some exciting new players to the team this year,” said DeCourcey. “Abigail is a strong talented midfielder who we expect to make an immediate impact and become one of the team’s top playmakers. We’ll look to see her combine with her summer Fundy teammate Robyn. Jessica is a solid, experienced defender and Leandra will no doubt create some goal scoring opportunities.”
The Tommies begin their pursuit of another banner on September 8th when they travel to Halifax, NS to take on the University of King’s College Blue Devils. Kickoff is 2:00 pm. Soccer and All-Sport Season passes are available at the J.B. O'Keefe Fitness Centre. For more information visit https://www.gotommies.ca/fan-zone/tickets.