CANMORE - Fielding a younger and mostly new team, the Canmore Wolverines’ soccer girls fell, 3-1, to the Foothills Falcons in the season home opener on Tuesday (Sept. 17) at Millennium Field.
The high school team opened up the scoring in the first half when right wing, Trinidy Spiess, found the back of the net from Anna Jasinsky's set up pass. From there, however, the Wolverines were unable to build on early momentum and the Falcons’ offence took off and scored three unanswered goals to rip away a win.
This season, over one third of the Canmore Collegiate High School's (CCHS) 20-player roster is made up of Grade 9s, with only five being in Grade 11 and 12.
With new faces everywhere, Jaiden Webster, who, along with Spiess, are the Wolverines’ only Grade 12s and fourth year players, said she’s stoked to embrace a leadership role in the development season.
“I think today was going in there and getting out the first game jitters and learning how to play together and honestly, the score didn’t go the way we wanted it to ... we’re all kind of smiling and we worked well together,” Webster said.
Spiess added: “We want to come out on top this year, but at the end of the day, it’s about our love for the sport and if we can share that with the Grade 9s, they can carry on our legacy as the new Wolverines.”
Not only was Tuesday the Wolverines’ first game of the season, but also the team's first time playing together as a full unit.
Coach Jason Thompson said he saw plenty of positives come out of the game and will work on "building" the team throughout its six-game regular season.
“As a team we talk about three things that are really important for our squad: it’s respect, it’s compete and it’s adapt, because in every game you need all three,” said Thompson. “We lean on those five [Grade 11/12s] to help set the path for what the CCHS Wolverines way is and so far we can look at the score and say ‘it’s a bummer,’ but I’m really pleased with the effort because for us to come together with that young of squad … I’m really confident from where we’re going to be building from.”
It was the Wolverines out there on Tuesday, despite the squad suiting up in old jerseys. The girls wore the school’s vintage Crusaders uniforms during the game.
Late last school year, CCHS changed its sports team logo and name to the Wolverines from the Crusaders.
The Wolverines’ next game is Thursday (Sept. 19) against the Spartans in Strathmore and the next home game is Tuesday (Sept. 24) at 4:30 p.m., when the girls take on arch-rival, Holy Trinity Academy.
Veteran voices echoed after the Falcons loss that communication and pushing the ball up field are key moving forward.
“We’ll definitely talk a little bit on the bus ride to the game,” said Grade 11 player, Anika Gasser. “As a team, we need to learn to play to the whistle and go hard for the whole game and lay it all out.”