Volume 94, Issue 7


SPORTS

Mustangs barely excape opener loss

A no-win weekend for Lady Mustangs

Women's soccer team ready to kick - Confident women prepare for a strong season

National champs hungry for it again

UWO alumni rowing in Sydney - Mustang fever sets sights on Olympic gold

From golf to track: Fall sports - A host of sports get cracking this fall at Western

Anna K. needs some serious inspection

Women's soccer team ready to kick - Confident women prepare for a strong season

By Joel Brown
Gazette Staff



Confidence is definitely not lacking on this year's women's soccer team – what remains to be seen is whether they have the game to back it up.

Despite a disappointing weekend that resulted in a tie with Windsor and a loss to Waterloo, the team remains confident it can have a strong season.

"Our team believes we have the ability to compete," said Mike Eys, the team's new head coach. "Our goal is to get to the nationals."

The team bases most of its optimism on its defence, which they believe has the ability to carry them throughout the season. "There's no way anybody is going to score more than one or two goals on us," said team co-captain Amme Harding.

Eys said he believes defence will be a strong point since the team is returning some key defenders, led by goalie Ana Grgic.

According to her teammates, first-year defender Leena Hesselmans has already made a big impact and is looked upon as a key player. "I'm really impressed by her," Harding said. "She's a really tough and aggressive defender who seems to always get to the ball."

Eys added he feels the team is strong enough at every position, but believes there are certain areas that may need more work in order for the team reach to its goals. "An area we'll need to work on is our transition game from the defence to the attack positions," he said.

Harding said she was disappointed by this weekend's results, but believes the team will make progress. "We're still looking for that final thing that will bring us together," she said.

"We're going to have to work on sending a full attack. I expected us to struggle a little because we only have four starters from last year's team back. But as the season progress we'll keep on getting better," Harding added.

Bruce Rodriques, head coach of the Waterloo Warriors, said he is convinced Western will be a force to be reckoned with in the post-season. "They'll definitely be a playoff team," Rodriques said. "They're too good not to be.

"They're a well-rounded team with a lot of strong tacklers," added Rodriques. "They've also got two quick forwards in [Harding] and [Chrystal Johnston].

Rodriques said he was ecstatic with his team's ability to pull out a win. "To win at Western is huge, it's been a long time," he said. "In the 11 years I've coached they've won 7 or 8 of those game."

Expect competition to be wide open in the Ontario University Athletics women's soccer league with Brock, Guelph, Laurier, Waterloo, Western and Windsor all being considered contenders for the title.

Despite the construction of the new artificially turfed TD Waterhouse stadium, both the men's and women's soccer teams will remain at J.W. Little Stadium this season, Eys said, the players are in no rush to move to the new stadium's Astroturf surface. "I'm not sure for how long, but our team is definitely happy to be playing on a grass field."




To Contact The Sports Department:
gazette.sports@julian.uwo.ca

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