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2011-12 Varsity Previews: Women’s Soccer

The UFV Cascades women’s soccer team is coming off of their most successful season ever. The Cascade speaks with head coach Rob Giesbrecht to get his thoughts on the coming season.

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By Sean Evans (The Cascade) – Email

Date Posted: August 26, 2011
Print Edition: August 25, 2011

The UFV Cascades women’s soccer team is coming off of their most successful season ever. As the 2010 Canada West champions and the 2010 CIS bronze medalists, the women’s soccer club at UFV is poised to defend their championship season on the pitch this fall. As the team is currently on route to Ottawa and Montreal for a preseason trip, The Cascade contacted head coach Rob Giesbrecht via email to get his thoughts on the coming season.

What was your personal highlight from last season?
Winning the Canada West Championship was very special, we wanted to be the first UFV team to win a Canada West title. We knew that the championship banner would hang in our gym forever and we challenged our players to make history. CIS Nationals were also an outstanding experience, even though we came up a bit short in the semifinal we earned the CIS bronze medal and we ended the season with a great sense of pride in all that we had accomplished.

What can the team learn from last year? How can you build on last season?
It was an outstanding season and I think the two things all of us learned are: first, to dare to dream and second, that if you give a committed group of student-athletes enough “why’s” they can accomplish any “how”. We build on last season by not just remembering how good it felt to have Canada West gold and CIS bronze around our neck, we need to remember how hard we had to work and battle to accomplish our goals and how much blood, sweat and tears we all had to invest throughout the season. It’s a new season, and like all of our Canada West competitors, we currently have zero points in the conference standings. Last year’s accomplishments give us a knowledge that we can be successful but I hope our group focuses more on what it took be successful rather just being successful.

What does a successful season look like this year? Any specific team goals?
I think a successful season would be a return to the Canada West playoffs and then onto the CIS National Tournament. Canada West Women’s Soccer is so tough, just to qualify for conference playoffs is extremely difficult, we will have to take our performances to the next level and take it one game at a time. We’ve set a goal of qualifying for the CIS National Tournament, but before that can occur we need to finish in the top four in the league, so that is our primary focus.

Any new recruits or rookies that you are particularly excited about?
Definitely. Macki Shopland from Langley will provide an immediate impact. She is starting for us right now in central midfield. She spent the last year training with the Vancouver Whitecaps Prospects program and she is adapting quite nicely to the demands of university soccer. Samantha Temple from Calgary, AB is also currently starting. She is a solid defender with a bright future. Shelby Beck is a forward from Langley, BC and is also a special talent and is likely to have a very positive impact on our program.

How can students at UFV support the team?
Come on out to Bateman Park and cheer us on. We love having fans at our games and the girls play an assertive and aggressive style of soccer that is fun to watch. We are passionately committed to be a program that UFV can be proud of. Bateman Park is about 10 minutes from campus and it’s a beautiful place to watch a game.

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