Men’s and women’s soccer say goodbye to key contributors and outstanding Mounties
On a rainy Sunday afternoon on Alumni field, emotions ran high. The men’s and women’s soccer teams played their final games of the season against the Memorial University Sea-Hawks. Both games had the Mounties out in front with early goals. Emily van Diepen scored on a free kick and Kohei Kasahara displayed great skill with a chip over the Sea-Hawks keeper. The Mounties were unable to hold the lead in both games, with the women falling 2-1 and the men 3-1.
Despite both teams falling in their respective games, that was not the source of the Mounties’ emotion. The end of the season marked the end of the AUS soccer careers of 11 players. Nine players from the women’s team and two from the men’s donned the Mounties jersey for the last time. There was visible emotion shown by the retiring Mounties and their teammates as they celebrated the careers of such great players and friends.
The women’s players who have played their last game are Hannah Brison, Ellie Henry, Candace Higney, Emily Hunter, Charlotte Martin, Gillian Tetlow, Emily van Diepen, Kristyn Visser and Amanda Volcko. The men’s team is losing the play of Cale Saunders and Federico Mora. All of these players are great representatives of Mount Allison and display everything that Mountie Pride stands for.
Hannah Brison – One of the first words that comes to mind when thinking about Brison’s play is ‘relentless.’ She never gave up on a play, making her mark work to keep the ball. She used her great speed to stay with her mark and make key challenges to help her team win. Her never-say-quit attitude was contagious and inspired others to follow suit. Starting every game this past year, she was moved back and forth from the backline to the midfield and never missed a beat. The Mounties lose a relentless defender and she will be greatly missed.
Ellie Henry – A great centre-back, Henry relied on good instincts and speed to read opponents and find the right time to step up and make challenges. Though not always flashy, she was always in good position to supply support to her teammates and always made the smart play to protect the Mounties box. Henry was a mainstay of the Mounties backline, starting every game in the past two years and continually improving all aspects of her game. The Mounties lose one of the most hard-nosed and reliable centre-backs to don the Mounties crest.
Candace Higney – In her four-year career, Higney played the role of backup keeper. She was a hard worker and kept herself in great form should the call come that she was needed. Always there to provide support and advice, she worked hard in practices to help the Mounties. In her career she also helped the team on the field, starting five games and recording one clean sheet and a .750 save percentage. The Mounties will miss Higney as a keeper as well as a teammate.
Emily Hunter – Being an effective player off the bench is not an easy task. You must be ready with your best form at a moment’s call and provide energy on the field. Hunter provided all of these traits and more. She showed good poise and skill with the ball at her feet, making accurate passes from her midfield position. She always provided a jolt from the bench whenever her number was called and Hunter will be missed by the Mounties both on and off the field.
Charlotte Martin – A steadying force, Martin always showed great poise and vision in the Mounties midfield. The captain, she was often the catalyst of scoring opportunities. Sometimes doing things that went unnoticed, she had a great first touch, was an accurate passer and overall cerebral player throughout games. Martin scored three goals and started 50 games in the middle of the action for the Mounties. The Mounties watched one the most cerebral and underrated players to wear the garnet and gold leave the field for the last time.
Gillian Tetlow – A stalwart on the left side for the Mounties, Tetlow was always there there to make a big defensive play when her team needed it. Whether it be stopping a player one-on-one or using her speed to chase down an attacker and deny a shot, Tetlow could really do it all as a defender. Blessed with good speed, instincts and a hard kick, she made every opposing player worry coming down her wing and her teammates thankful they had her supporting them. Not starting eight games this year due to injury, her absence was notable. She was a key contributor in all 32 games in her Mounties career.
Emily van Diepen – One word to describe van Dieppen is ‘reliable.’ She was everything the Mounties needed her to be and more in her five-year career. A great role model on the team, she always ready to play and do everything asked of her. She could always be counted on to make a key challenge, touch or clear. Very accurate with her free kicks, her strong right foot made her a threat to score from wherever the ball was placed. Scoring six goals in her career, van Dieppen started 60 games and it will be strange to watch a Mounties soccer game and not see van Diepen on the field.
Kristyn Visser – A physical and powerful centre-back, Visser played the difficult position with good positioning and poise. She was never afraid to knock a girl off the ball if it meant thwarting a scoring opportunity. Her strong left foot allowed her to make hard clears and her quickness made her effective when it came to winning the ball. She was an anchor of the backline, with good communication at many times directing the line in order to maintain good positioning. Scoring two goals in her Mounties career, Visser started 49 games for the Mounties. Visser would never take a play off and the Mounties will be hard pressed to replace her determination on the backline.
Amanda Volcko – The most dangerous offensive threat for the Mounties, other teams knew they had to mark Volcko tightly to keep her contained. Despite this, she still created scoring opportunities with a mix of great speed, quickness, ball control and accurate shooting. Volcko had knack for getting shooting opportunities using her speed and soccer IQ to find holes in opposing defenses, managing 75 shots in her career. She started every game in her four years she scored 20 goals in that span. The Mounties say goodbye to one of the best goal-scorers to ever wear the garnet and gold.
Federico Mora – Versatile is a good way to describe Mora. He played anywhere the Mounties needed and always made an impression. As a defender he could anchor a backline with good instincts and quickness. In the midfield his good touch and vision allowed him to create scoring chances for others. As a forward his accurate shot and speed allowed him to get behind the defense and create scoring chances for himself and teammates. Scoring seven goals in his career, the Mounties will find it hard to duplicate Mora’s versatility.
Cale Saunders – The Mounties offensive catalyst and leader, Saunders was the captain of the men’s team and lead by example with his tenacious play to win the ball in the midfield. His good ball control continually helped the Mounties keep possession and keep their attack moving forward. He was always in good position and knew where to be in order to support teammates and find gaps in the defense. Saunders scored four goals in his career, with two of them game winners. The Mounties will have a tough time replacing this skillful and determined midfielder.