Women’s soccer bows out in playoffs

The season has come to an end, but there are a lot of positives despite the defeat

Jodi Hutton battles for the ball during TRU’s playoff loss to UBC on Oct. 30. (TRU Athletics)

Jodi Hutton battles for the ball during TRU’s playoff loss to UBC on Oct. 30. (TRU Athletics)

The TRU women’s soccer team saw their season come to an end in Vancouver on Friday, Oct. 30, as they fell 6–1 to the UBC Thunderbirds.

The game was always going to be a tough one for TRU to win, as they were up against a UBC team that won the West division,was ranked fourth in the nation and had already defeated TRU 4–0 at Hillside Stadium earlier on in the season.

Coming into the contest, one of the keys to the game for head coach Tom McManus was “to make sure we tighten up at the beginning and don’t give them an early goal.”

Unfortunately this was not to be, as UBC scored in the 11th minute of the game and ultimately went into the halftime break up 3–0. Danielle Fauteaux scored TRU’s lone goal of the game on a nice play from fellow fifth-year Jaydene Radu, but it was a case of too little too late for TRU as UBC won the game comfortably.

TRU came into the season with the cards already stacked against them. Due to some scheduling changes they were forced to play their first six games of the season on the road. After achieving some positive results through the first two weekends of play, the strain of travel began to show, as TRU would then go on a four game losing streak.

It would have been easy to hang their heads and put it in cruise control for their remaining games, but that defeatism just wasn’t in the team’s DNA this year. As McManus explains, “they have the belief this year that they could do it and the chemistry this year was phenomenal.”

The ‘Pack bounced back, winning three more games in the season and finishing the year with a record of five wins, seven losses and two draws, good enough for sixth place in the West division of the CIS and the final playoff spot.

Despite the loss, the 2015 season will be looked on as one full of positives. This is a team that improved greatly after only winning one game all of last season. The team looked better in all aspects of the game, and McManus was pleased with the high level of play that he saw on the field.

“We set the goal of making the playoffs and I guess from that point of view it went well. I thought that we played better than what our points were this year. There were a few games we gave away unfortunately right at the death, so it would’ve been nice to have hung on at that point. The girls, in my mind, did a good job.”

This game saw the end of the university soccer careers for six members of the WolfPack. Jaydene Radu, Katie Sparrow and Emily Oliver are all long-time members of the ‘Pack who were integral in TRU finishing third at the CCAA National Championships in 2013, as well as helping the team through the tough transition into CIS play.
Brianna Powrie and Taylor Shantz are two players that transferred to TRU for their final season of CIS eligibility after playing fours years at Quest University, and as the starting midfielder and goalkeeper respectively, they played a big part in TRU’s improvement this year. Danielle Fauteaux is a player that made the team as a walk-on after seven years away from the game of soccer and was the leading scorer for the WolfPack this season.

“I am just very fortunate to have those six players this year,” McManus said about his departing players.

Looking ahead to next season, this team has many young players that have already played important roles for the team and with the departures of those six graduating players it will now be their turn to step up and lead the ‘Pack. If the team is able to continue improving at the rate that they did this season then it won’t be long before the rest of the CIS takes notice of what McManus tries to instill in his players.

“We just want everyone to know that TRU WolfPack is a team to be reckoned with.”