Hurricanes soccer set to descend on Maine
August 30, 2013
Holland College soccer teams to play exhibition matches against U.S. opponents
By GEORDIE CARRAGHER
Aug. 29, 2013
After over nine months since their last game, the Holland Hurricanes men’s and women’s soccer teams are ready to get back on the field.
Both teams will play three exhibition games this weekend, travelling first to Saint John to play the UNB-Saint John Seawolves on Saturday before heading to Fort Kent, Maine, to play the Vermont Tech Knights on Sunday, followed by the University of Maine-Fort Kent Bengals on Monday.
“The matches should provide an early test for players to get used to the speed of the college game”, said men’s assistant coach Thomas Craig.
“This exposure should allow our players to adjust their goals for the season and make the necessary adjustments to their training preparation.”
“The teams are looking to play strong, competitive matches leading up to the opening weekend of ACAA competition”, said women’s head coach Kris McKinnon.
“The girls have been working hard in training and it will be great to get them into a competitive match to apply what we have been doing.”
The Knights and Bengals both play in the United States Collegiate Athletic Association (USCAA), though the Bengals are considering membership in the Atlantic Colleges Athletic Association (ACAA), where the Hurricanes currently play.
Craig sees the matches as a good opportunity to build relationships with nearby American schools while exposing the team to different competition, and with good reason.
The women’s Bengals have two USCAA championships and a silver medal in the last three seasons, while the men’s Bengals won the USCAA title in 2010.
Both the men’s and women’s Hurricanes are coming off appearances in the Canadian College Athletic Association (CCAA) championships in 2012, with the women’s team having hosted the championships at the Terry Fox Complex last November.
Following a silver medal at the 2011 CCAA championships, the men’s Hurricanes finished eighth in 2012, and they’re looking to get back to Saint John for this years national championship in November.
“Our returning players came to camp more physically and mentally prepared as they’re all itching to get back to the national stage and prove a point,” Craig said.
The men will look to veterans Simon Hood, Kelsey Jones, Joel Dennis, Geoff Pellerin, Adam Fitzgerald and Evan Forrester to be leaders on the field, especially with a strong recruiting class including London, England native George Coles and Tyler Ellis of London, Ontario., both of whom previously played for the Bengals.
New Hurricanes also include Gabriel Subanovich and Moncton striker Kyle Reade, who previously played for Mount Allison before joining the Hurricanes.
Reade, who played club soccer with Codiac First Touch in Moncton, noticed a strong camaraderie right away.
“Although everyone is still fighting for a spot, there’s an obvious team spirit that is contagious,” he said.
“There’s a winning attitude that starts with the coaching staff and goes right through the whole team, and it looks like everyone is buying in already.”
The biggest thing Reade has learned is the importance of taking care of the body, a concept he’s trying to bring to the Hurricanes.
“If we have a morning off there’s always a few of us going to the gym working to be ready for the start of the season,” he said.
On the women’s side, the Hurricanes will look to return to the CCAA championships in Surrey, B.C., after a seventh-place finish on home turf in 2012.
They will look to Sussex, N.B., native and CCAA All-Canadian, Megan Spicer to be near the top in ACAA scoring once again, having led the CCAA with 20 goals in the 2012 season.
Spicer will have help up front thanks to Kristin Hood, a former Charlottetown Rural Raider who joins the Hurricanes having played for Team P.E.I. at the 2013 Canada Games in Sherbrooke, Quebec. Hood’s speed and awareness will be counted on to create more scoring opportunities.
Veterans Laura Younker and Lindsay Shupe will help stabilize the midfield, along with rookie midfielder Rebecca Levy from New Ross, N.S.
A graduate of Forest Heights Community School, Levy said joining the ACAA ranks has been a big adjustment.
“I’m used to laid back practices or games once or twice a week, but training with the Hurricanes has been a great new challenge and I’m really enjoying the intensity.”
While it’s been a big adjustment, Levy said it’s helped to have supportive coaches and returning players, including fellow Forest Heights graduate Shalan Armstrong, who will anchor the back line in her third season as a Hurricane.
“I appreciate the input I get from the coaches on the field, and all the returning players give great advice reflecting on how their first years at the college went,” Levy said.
For both the men’s and women’s teams, developing chemistry on the field will be the biggest takeaway from this weekend.
Given the depth on both teams, the weekend will settle some position battles.
“They’re all capable of playing so it will be a challenge for the coaching staff to select a lineup,” McKinnon said.“It’s a good problem for a coach to have.”
HURRICANES SOCCER SCHEDULES
Aug. 31 – Holland Hurricanes vs. UNB-Saint John Seawolves, Saint John, N.B., 1 p.m.
Sept. 1 – Holland Hurricanes vs. Vermont Tech Knights, Fort Kent, Me., Noon
Sept. 2 – Holland Hurricanes vs. University of Maine at Fort Kent Bengals, Fort Kent, Me., Noon
Aug. 31 – Holland Hurricanes vs. UNB-Saint John Seawolves, Saint John, N.B., 3 p.m.
Sept. 1 – Holland Hurricanes vs. Vermont Tech Knights, Fort Kent, Me., 2 p.m.
Sept. 2 – Holland Hurricanes vs. University of Maine at Fort Kent Bengals, Fort Kent, Me., 2 p.m.
All games in Atlantic Time
For media inquiries please contact:
Athletics Development and Communications Coordinator
Department of Athletics and Recreation