Laurier Brantford men’s and women’s soccer teams will start their 2020 season with a tournament at Centennial College.
Held January 18, the teams will be travelling to Toronto to compete.
“It’s always our goal to improve on the previous year, we use our three tournaments to prepare for regionals, and our main goal is to make it out of group play,” said Coach Murphy Wiredu, who coaches both men’s and women’s team for Laurier Brantford.
“We nearly had success within our women’s team [last year],” he said.
Players on both teams are looking forward to the start of another soccer season, especially the women, who were just shy of making it to provincials last year, where they would have faced the top schools in the Ontario College Athletic Association (OCAA).
Each team will play three tournaments and then will compete in a final tournament that will determine if they move on to provincials. The first is at Centennial College on January 18, the second at Redeemer College on January 24 for the men, and January 25 for the women, and the third at Sheridan College on February 15, before regionals at Redeemer College on March second.
The women’s team is looking to repeat their success last year and get that extra push that will land them at provincials.
We are happy that we have some core players who have been with us since the program began three years ago, and they’ve all bought into our system and style of play which is huge. —Murphy Wiredu, Head Coach
“We are looking to make a name for ourselves and gain a reputation among the college and university teams as the team to beat,” said Rachel Jones, a member of the women’s team, “I believe we are well on our way to making that happen.”
While the men’s team is looking to rebound from a season riddled with injuries that played a significant factor in their overall level of play last year.
“We hope to accomplish nothing short of competing in OCAA championships” said Martin Mejia, captain of the men’s team, “I think our guys know what it takes to get there are now and it’s a matter of going to get it.”
The men’s team is looking at a short bench this year, but there is little worry from the coach and players. They are confident that they will be able to manage themselves.
“It will not matter if the bench has 10 or 16 players, the most disciplined and fit will play and that could mean seven people seeing the pitch the entire day,” said Mejia, “fitness is a huge part and will always be on this team, regardless of the numbers we have.”
It’s always our goal to improve on the previous year, we use our three tournaments to prepare for regionals, and our main goal is to make it out of group play. —Murphy Wiredu, Head Coach
“Being short on players can be a weakness, but we have had fewer players a couple of years ago, and we enjoyed a great season,” said Wiredu.
“We are happy that we have some core players who have been with us since the program began three years ago, and they’ve all bought into our system and style of play which is huge,” he said.
Both teams are looking to show off their skills this season and potentially make it to the OCAA championships and are confident that they are ready for what this season has to offer.
Mejia noted that both teams are still very new to Laurier Brantford and their varsity program.
“Maturity and hard work will be our strengths this year, a lot of players had their first experience with the competition last year and it was eye-opening for them,” he continued.
“They got better tournament by tournament and this year I feel that the team is mature enough to understand what they are dealing with.”