By: Dylan Matthias
The Acadia women's recruits have been in for about a week (sorry, sorry) and we'll take a moment before their opener against Dal on Saturday to break them down.
The group is big on Nova Scotia provincial team players, adding Alana Fairfax, Erica McAdam, and Julia McKinnon. McAdam is a midfielder and McKinnon a goalkeeper. Fairfax, as far as we can surmise, is probably a striker given how often she pops up in various scoring summaries of games she's played in.
The recruits also include Charlotte Nutt of the Ottawa Fury U-17 program, the same program which produced Tyler Lewars and Daphne Wallace of Dal. Wallace and Nutt will likely meet on Saturday.
New head coach Amit Batra has also added two transfer players from Lakehead University in Raya Puchalski and Brittany Coulson. Lakehead does not have a varsity women's soccer team.
Also added are goalkeeper Carrie Wood, defender Kelsey Hennessy, and New Brunswickan Jenn Durette.
With the likely graduation of Stephanie Moignard, the addition of two goalkeepers makes sense. The team included Shari-Lee Castello and Leigh Doyle in goal last year, but neither saw frequent action.
Fairfax and McKinnon provide attacking options for Batra, whose Mount St. Vincent team never struggled to score. If he uses a 4-3-3 formation as he frequently used at MSVU, then expect the recruits to see some pitch time.
Given that Batra was hired in June, it's hard to know how much of a stamp he's been able to put on this recruiting year. It seems prudent to give him at least a season to build the team. That said, this side won't be any worse than last year and may be (especially if Batra's Acadia is as tactically aware as Batra's MSVU) considerably better.
Acadia will lose several players to eligibility but have a lot of young blood as well, some of whom did see time last year and some of whom showed some talent. Becca Stunz, Michelle Dve, Lauren Landry, and several other competent rookies should contribute this year.
Overall recruiting grade: B. It's not a great class, but it should be solid enough, and we'll take it easy given the coaching change. Acadia aren't likely to win AUS, but they'll be an interesting opponent for Dal on Saturday.
–Dylan Matthias is the incoming sports editor at the Dalhousie Gazette. He runs Dal Soccer Live on the side to provide more in-depth coverage of AUS and ACAA soccer. He has been a Toronto FC fan since Danny Dichio scored the team's first ever goal. It showed him the magic of soccer.