Holland College women’s soccer team is ready to compete this weekend after a long wait
By Abigail Cox
September 10, 2021
The Holland College Women’s soccer team is getting ready for their season opener games this weekend in New Brunswick against the University of New Brunswick Saint John. and St. Thomas University.
Photo by Abigail Cox.
It was -15 °C at the ACAA soccer Nationals in Edmonton Alberta.
On the field, striker for Holland College women’s soccer, Emily Lepine watched volunteers shovel off the sidelines every few minutes throughout the game as the snow fell.
“It was freezing on the field, I had heat warmers that you shake to activate in my gloves and cleats, so I was constantly jumping up and down to stay warm,” said Lepine.
Although it was freezing cold, it was an experience she wouldn’t change for the world, especially after not being able to play soccer competitively for a year.
Lepine, who is a third-year player this year, is looking forward to this year’s season after the hiatus due to COVID-19.
Last year, no team was able to compete, so it was just a training year for everyone.
“I wouldn’t count any team out but there is no doubt in my mind that Holland College will be a top contender in the league,” said Lepine.
The women’s team began training three weeks ago for the upcoming season and won
3-0 in their exhibition game against UPEI last Sunday.
Head coach Jonathan Vos is excited for the team’s season opener games this weekend against the University of New Brunswick Saint John on Saturday, Sept. 11 and then against St. Thomas University on Sunday, Sept. 12.
“I’m looking forward to having competitive games again, it’s been a long year and a half since we’ve been able to play in a real league.”
Vos is thrilled with the roster for the women’s team this year and says there is a good mixture of returning players and rookies.
“I’m really pleased with the balance of the team as well, for what we have positions wise, from the keepers all the way up to our strikers, I think everyone is going to be able to contribute.”
The women’s team still holds the championship title from the last real season pre-COVID two years ago, and Vos believes that the team has a solid chance of taking home the trophy again this year.
“With any team we put on the field at Holland College, we know we can compete and definitely fight for the ACAA title.”
Emily Lepine is ready to share her experience with new players to help them prepare for the upcoming season.
“Me and a few other girls have the background of knowing what it takes to do well at nationals and how much of a physical and mental strain it can be,” said Lepine.
Second year player, Helena Vos, is looking forward to experiencing the real league this year.
“For all the second years like me that didn’t get to experience a real season yet, we’re all really excited to participate and compete against other schools.”
Another player who is enthusiastic about the season is first year player, Renee Arsenault.
“It’s a completely different experience from what I’ve always done with soccer just here locally, so it will be really cool to play against other schools in different provinces and travel with the team,” said Arsenault.
“I wouldn’t count any team out, but there is no doubt in my mind that Holland College will be a top competitor in the league,” says third year player Emily Lepine. Pictured from left to right: Helena Vos, Renee Arsenault, Emily Lepine, and Head coach Jonathan Vos. Photo by Abigail Cox.
Albert Roche, Director of Athletics and Recreation at Holland College is also feeling optimistic about the upcoming season for the women’s soccer team.
“I’m very pleased with our returning players that offer their experiences and leadership. There are also a lot of very promising new players that will make great editions to the team.”
Roche admits that it was strange having a year off from competing but is grateful that all student athletes will be able to experience what it is like to compete in true competition this season.
“We’re in an unusual place, all teams are with the gap year last year, but I think the goal of taking home that championship banner is absolutely in our players grasp.”
We will have more of an idea of who will be our main competitors in the league after our first couple of games this weekend, says Roche.
“I hope everyone has a safe and injury free season and that we succeed in playoffs and get to keep that championship trophy at Holland College.”