The Caledonia girls soccer team has been hitting the field since mid-February and are gearing up for zones this weekend in Prince Rupert.
The squad has players Grades 9-12 mostly from Caledonia Secondary School, but a few from Skeena Middle and even two from Centennial Christian.
“It was a bit of a process to try and get them, because BC School Sports is for public schools, and Centennial Christian is a private school,” explained coach Warren Copeland. “There was a fair bit of documentation and work to do on both school’s parts.”
Most of that legwork was done last year and Eryn Struyk joined the Kermodes mid-season. This year Struyk and Hope Azak are both on the team.
“That was a huge bonus for us, and nice for the girls too,” said Copeland, adding that Azak is now starter goalie and Struyk has been a team leader all season.
“[Struyk] plays pretty much everywhere. She’s very versatile… great ball-control skills, and great leader too,” he said.
Along with Struyk, Copeland says forward Tegan Dejong and midfielder Jayde Gingles are also leaders on the team.
“Tegan is one of our most tenacious players. She’s aggressive, and she just doesn’t know the meaning of the word quit,” he said. “And Jayde is the same way.”
And as for defence, Copeland said Kiera Mulder definitely stands out, particularly because of her age, and Jasleen Sandhu is also a key defender.
“[Mulder] is one of our youngest players, but you’d never know it on the field,” said Copeland. “She’s very talented athletic-wise… she goes toe to toe with Grade 12 girls who are bigger and stronger than her, but she’s very fierce,” he said, adding that it’s her first year and she’ll likely be a team leader for several years to come.
|Kermode forward Delaney Kitchen chases a Kitimat defender at a match in Terrace recently. (Photo contributed)|
The Kermodes played in Kitimat last weekend, defeating Kitimat 10-1 and losing to Smithers 2-1 on a penalty kick.
Zones are in Prince Rupert May 12, with Smithers Secondary, Charles Hays and Caledonia competing. It’s been a few years since Caledonia has made provincials and Copeland says they all have a fairly even shot.
“There’s three teams and we’ve all beat each other once, so every team that’s attending has a great chance of being zone champion,” he said.
“We’ve got a good group here with some good depth to it, so we’re keeping our fingers crossed that we can perform well at zones.”
Besides the players mentioned above, other players this year are Brenna Axelson, Brittany Biggs, Sarah Davey, Leah Julseth, Bryn Giesbrecht, Chloe Allison, Lisa Nicholson, Diana Harris, Sophie Wright-Seymour, Macey Branco, Jacey Neid, Delaney Kitchen, Kelsey Denomme, Taylor Halvorsen, Deidre Lind, Kiera McChesney, Mackenzie Walker, Hailey Dhaliwal, and Eva Almgren.