–By Dylan Matthias
UPEI have added no less than eight players already, including two strikers.
Maggie McSweeney and Ali Goodman will give AUS leading scorer Tessa Roche a little help up front.
Last year, Tessa Roche scored 13 of UPEI’s 20 goals. Kinza Baker was the team’s second-leading scorer, with three.
Also joining them are (deep breath): Sarah Stanley (M), Katie O’Brien (M), Patty Trainor (M), Melissa Burke (W), Lynn Symington (D), and Hilary Thompson (G).
McSweeney, O’Brien, and Stanley are both former PEI provincial team players, a system that has produced a number of Panthers over the past several years. Thompson is also a provincial team alum, in both soccer and curling.
Symington is a defender from New Brunswick who also has provincial experience. Kalie Symington, Lynn’s sister, is already a Panther.
The most intriguing of the recruits is Ali Goodman. She was part of a Saskatoon high school dynasty established by Bishop James Mahoney High School. Her school won the league in 2006, 2007, and 2008, and the playoffs in 2007 and 2008. According the UPEI website, head coach Michael Redmond thinks she can “make an immediate impact in AUS.”
There’s no debating the Panthers could use the goals.
Despite getting themselves into CIS nationals courtesy of an upset win over the Capers, the Panthers are far from a complete team. They finished 6th at nationals and only scored one goal, that against fellow AUS upsetters, St. FX.
This coming year, it’s vital for UPEI to field a CIS-capable squad. UPEI will host the women’s soccer nationals in the fall, a tournament which has been won for two straight years by a loaded Trinity Western side.
Dylan Matthias is the incoming sports editor of the Dalhousie Gazette. He runs Dal Soccer Live on the side to provide more in-depth coverage of AUS and ACAA soccer.