After a successful first month for the Cascades’ women’s soccer team, head coach Rob Geisbrecht discusses the team’s new roster, their success so far, and what to expect over the next few months.
How was the training over the summer?
Over the summer, it was really good. Most of our girls are local so we can train together. We do a May and June training program that involves a lot of on-field training as well as a strengthening program through Innovative Fitness. That’s a local company that we contract for our strength training.
How do you think the team has grown over the past year?
That’s a good question. We had a successful season last year where we made the national championship tournament. I guess as a coach, you always have cautions of complacency setting in, so you want to avoid that. One thing I’m happy about is that our team got hungrier for success and more committed to do what it takes to be successful. I guess the team has grown; we’re mature, we’re dealing with some adversity, and the girls are doing really well. They’ve also formed quite a tight bond among the team, and that’s really helped us do well on the field.
What’s your roster like this season?
We’ve recruited well. We didn’t graduate any players from last year’s team, but a few players did leave. We brought in a few outstanding first-year players and they’re doing quite well. We’re really excited about our future. It’s been great to have a bunch of first-year players start games at times and really contribute to games and step up and play some really important roles for us. But it’s a very similar roster to last year. We’re led by our defenders, and our goalkeepers are all girls that are in their fourth and fifth years, and that really helps us out, with their maturity and their understanding of what it takes to be successful at this level. They really help us out a lot. Our goalkeeper, Kayla Klim, is outstanding. She’s a fourth-year player out of Burnaby. And then our defenders are Dayle Jeras and Jade Palm, they’re fifth years, and Tristan Corneil is a fourth year, and they’re all doing really well.
How do you think the season has been going so far?
So far, quite well. Three weeks in, we’ve played six lead games and we’re at five wins and a draw. Asides from tying a game we probably should have won, I’m quite pleased with how things have gone. We know we have a lot of tough games ahead, but we’re taking care of business and I’m quite proud of the girls for how they’ve performed so far this year. The last two weeks we’ve had Canada West second stars of the week. We’ve had Monika Levarsky this past week, and the week before that we had Gurneet Dhaliwal. She’s a first-year player and Monika’s a second-year player, so it’s been exciting for us to have some of our young players get rewarded for some really positive play. We’re currently ranked number five in Canada. Rankings don’t mean a lot because it doesn’t get you anything for post-season, but it’s always nice to be recognized.
What are you expecting from the rest of the season?
We’re going to take it a game at a time. We have a bit of a tricky weekend trip this weekend out to Edmonton and Calgary to play Grant McEwan and Mount Royal. If we can get some points there and come home, Trinity Western will be a tough set of games over Thanksgiving. We’re kind of going to be jostling for playoffs. Our goal is to be the top seat out of B.C. for playoffs. It’s in our grasp to achieve that, but no matter where we end up in playoffs, we’re going to have the playoff run through Canada West, and it’s really important that we’re playing our best soccer in late October, early November. We’re really excited about what this next month holds. With Canada West soccer, the season’s quite short, and every weekend you’re playing two tough games. It’s really important that you take it game by game, you don’t get ahead of yourself, and you take the points when they’re there.
This interview has been edited for length and clarity.