After a tough campaign in 2016, the men’s varsity soccer program is now looking to rebound from what fans can happily write off as a transition year. Despite the obstacles of last year, talented players have arrived on the pitch, making way for a fresh season of great promise.
Newcomer Pat Hennessey showed potential last season and has set himself up for a position in the starting lineup again this year. Three other players to watch for include veterans Matthys van Staalduinen, Kyle Milley and Mitsu Matsuda. At 6’3, van Staalduinen is a valuable asset on set pieces who has consistently performed in the face of defensive challenges. Milley and Matsuda will look to provide veteran leadership for the team.
Also keep an eye out for fifth year Tony Maddalena, who will be instrumental in driving forward the Mountie attack. He will be joined alongside newcomers Ryogo Kanda, Medhi Hacer and the new addition from Scotland, Alex Barron.
Coach George Jenkins recruited a number of new players, including Brogan Skinner, Michael Cormier and Tristan McLean. Skinner has shown much promise in the preseason. The hard-working defender has impressed so far and has shown positive play with set pieces and defensive clearances. Cormier and McLean will be in competition for the starting goalkeeper position this season.
On the women’s side, there is much to be excited about. The Mounties found success at the preseason tournament hosted by Saint Francis Xavier, where they put forth an all-around good showing.
One player to keep an eye on this year is Kate Ollerhead. Ollerhead led the Mounties up front last season, and will definitely benefit from the changes in the squad where it looks like more support will be provided to her.
Two other players to watch for include Pascale Haidar and Taryn MacMillan. Both have shown promise, and like Ollerhead, are entering their third year as Mounties. Haidar featured in all 12 of the regular season matches last year and MacMillan has proven to be a positive presence up front for the side.
In the off-season, Coach Gene Ouellette spent time scouting and has brought in a handful of exciting prospects. There are versatile recruits in the likes of Erin Gentleman, Morgan Lundin and Amanda Piltzmaker. With attacking prowess and a collective desire to push forward, these players have the potential to fit in well in a team that is moving forward.
The Homecoming weekend games on Sept. 24 will be against Saint Mary’s’ Huskies, and promise to be fan favourites.
Come on out to show your Mountie pride and cheer on our varsity teams!