Reclaiming glory

Blues women’s soccer team believe this could be their year

Justin Scott // Managing Editor

A year after having one of their best seasons in recent memory, the Capilano University Blues women’s soccer team believe that fine tuning a few things can get them to even greater heights.

They have much of last year’s core back and an unusually talented group of rookies. Currently with one win, four draws and two losses, the Blues have plenty of time to climb to the top. To do so however, they will need to work on a few aspects of their game.

“We’re really good at setting up scoring chances, we have so many opportunities, it’s just similar to last year, we just fail to find the back of the net as often as we should,” said third year forward Jaimi MacCara. The team is skilled offensively, unfortunately they’ve struggled to finish plays on their opponent’s nets so far this season. “I think we’ve had a lot of chances on crosses, so just getting to the end of them is something we need to work on,” added fourth year Marsha Chessire, who moves between mid field and forward.

Both players believe that part of their offensive struggles stem from the mental side of play. While they had high praise for the team’s rookies, new players on a roster inevitably means new habits and playstyles – something that can’t be adjusted to overnight. “Where do players want the ball. Do they want a long ball or do they want it at their feet?” said Chessire when discussing the teams process of getting to know one another on the pitch.

Chessire believes that the team needs to focus on their mental strength. “Composure is a big thing because we’ve been a second half team lately. So just working on keeping the ball when we get it, because a lot of the time we’ll get the ball and then we’ll be frantic and just kick the ball away,” she said. “So, I think staying composed when we get the ball and keeping it and passing it around rather than freaking out and giving it away for no reason.”

Something that has been working for the team all season is their defence. “We defend super well,” said MacCara. “Both of our goalies are some of the strongest in the league, and then our back four and even our subs are amazing. Honestly, we just have a lot of really, really good players.” She credits head coach, Dennis Kindel, for orchestrating a system that allows their defence to thrive. “By themselves all the defence are so strong and con dent in their tackles, but then with the way Dennis taught how the back line is supposed to move together, it’s like the perfect team defence because they all collapse when they need to but then they also step when they need to so it works super well,” she added.

And for the Blues, good defence leads to their offence. “We’re constantly looking to attack because we have a lot of forwards on the team and a lot of fast pace,” Chessire explained. “So, sending balls through and trying to get an attack going. For the most part, we play back to play forward.”

For now, the team is trying to settle in with their new roster and nd what works best for them. “Dennis is switching up the strikers a lot, which works sometimes and then doesn’t work other times,” said MacCara. “I honestly think it’s about each individual player needing to want it enough – including myself,” she continued.

While moving players around may not be common on other teams, in Chessire’s eyes it’s a luxury the Blues have. “We have a lot of players that can play anywhere, centre backs can play forwards, forwards can play centre, we have a lot of diversity and skill,” she said.

MacCara agreed, noting that this year’s rookies have brought dynamics and skills to the team that normally require years of college play to attain.

However, both players already see the team coming together and believe that soon everything will start falling into place. And once it does, they can’t see much getting in their way.

While the players are still learning how to play with one another, their team chemistry was established long ago. In August, the team went on a camping trip together, something that MacCara believes brought the team together early on. “I think it’s definitely the best year, chemistry wise, that I’ve been on the team,” she said.

With the season still in its infancy, there’s still a lot to come. However, the team already has their eye on the playoffs and beyond. “Last year we made it to provincials and got the bronze medal which was a really big accomplishment,” Chessire reflected. “I think that this year going to nationals would be a big achievement and it hasn’t happened in a long time. I think that we can make it happen.”

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