Mount Allison’s goalkeeper saves the most shots in the Atlantic University Sport’s soccer league
Sophie Austin, Mount Allison’s newest goalkeeper, has taken the lead for number of saves in the AUS women’s soccer league, with 50 saves so far this season.
Austin’s goalkeeping career began when, aged ten, she was switched from the striker position to goalkeeper. She proceeded to play soccer as a goalkeeper for the next eight years in Ottawa until making the decision to attend Mt. A, leaving the West Ottawa Soccer Club. During her time on the West Ottawa soccer team, Austin received experience as a call-up within the top-tiered semi-professional women’s team in League1.
Gene Ouellette, the women’s head soccer coach, initially introduced Austin to Mt. A, and Austin was instantly drawn to the University’s small community and atmosphere. “[Ouellette] came to talk to me, and then I visited campus, and from that point on I knew I wanted to go here,” she said. “I wanted a smaller school because I like it when my teacher knows my name.”
“Sophie brings both a sense of calmness and confidence to the position of goalkeeper,” said Ouellette. “I expect her to make an immediate impact and she is a great match for the Mount Allison experience.”
Part of Austin’s secret to a successful game involves a general routine she follows to mentally and physically prepare herself, but she adapts it uniquely to each game. “I think each game is different, so you have to prepare for them differently,” she said.
Austin, a first-year physics student, begins her preparation for the game mentally. “I like to do homework so that I get my brain working before the game,” she said.
Austin continues her mental preparation up until the game, listening to music right before going onto the field: “Pump up music in the change room really, really helps.”
Before the game, Austin does not follow strict dietary requirements, but looks for food that will provide her with extra energy. “Me and another teammate will go to Tim’s to get Iced Capps because we want the caffeine and the sugar,” she said. “They give us that extra energy boost.”
Physically, Austin preps herself for game day by following a warm-up procedure for injury prevention, then orients herself on the turf. “I’ll tap the goal-line with my feet to get a sense of where I am in the net,” she said, “and lots of stretching.”
Austin is next scheduled to play Sept. 28 at Dalhousie, where she will aim to maintain her current ranking in the AUS league.