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Three Oaks graduate plays an important defensive role as a starter in rookie season
It did not take Paige Deighan long to make an impression with the Holland Hurricanes.
A 2019 graduate of Three Oaks Senior High School in Summerside, Deighan stepped right in to help the Hurricanes win the Atlantic Collegiate Athletic Association (ACAA) women’s soccer title.
“I was very pleased with how much playing time I got, especially starting,” the 18-year-old daughter of Graham and Kim Deighan of Wilmot Valley told the Journal Pioneer in a recent interview. “I gained confidence in myself and the team. My skill developed throughout the year as well as my confidence with the ball.”
Deighan immediately fit into the holding midfield position with the Hurricanes.
“Paige took it, ran with it and has become a second-team (ACAA) all-star and a valuable member of our starting lineup,” said Hurricanes head coach Kris McKinnon. “She is often given the task of shutting down the top midfielder on our opponents.”
It’s a role Deighan has embraced.
“My role is to mark the opposing team’s highest midfielder and to work with the centre mids,” added Deighan, who is studying human services. “I play more of a defensive part.”
Although Deighan is not at the top of the scoring statistics, McKinnon talked about her value to the Hurricanes.
“If we were keeping statistics on the number of tackles in a game, or the number of times the opponent was stopped, I think you would see Paige at the top or near the top of the list in the league,” said McKinnon. “We can go back and watch videos and Paige is constantly in the right place at the right time to shut down the attack or win a ball that we may have struggled to win the first time and Paige is always there to win the second one, put in a challenge and make it tough on the opponent.”
Deighan played soccer with the Winsloe senior women’s team last summer and she said that experience helped prepare her for the ACAA, especially in the speed department.
“Every game she got better, every training session she got better,” said McKinnon. “As she became more comfortable with the team around here and understanding the roles and responsibilities that we were asking and what we expected, she always met them and I would say exceeded them regularly.
“You could always look at the game and Paige was in the top three or four of who we would consider our best players on the day.”
Deighan added a close-knit team dynamic with the Hurricanes helped her transition to varsity soccer.
“Sometimes I forget I am a rookie because we are all so close,” added Deighan.
She said, “it’s hard to believe” she is competing in this week’s Canadian Collegiate Athletic Association (CCAA) women’s soccer championship.
“It’s mind-blowing, especially being able to go in my first year. It will be an awesome experience.”
Soccer, however, is only the first chapter of Deighan’s first year with the Hurricanes. She is also a member of the school’s women’s hockey team.
“A couple of weeks ago I was doing both, but when it came closer to (ACAA) championship weekend (Oct. 26 and 27) I started focusing more on soccer,” said Deighan. “I found that benefited me a lot.”
Deighan plays forward in hockey and previously played with the Mid-Isle Wildcats and Western Wind teams in the P.E.I. Midget AAA Female Hockey League. She played in the 2017 Esso Cup national midget female hockey championship with the Wildcats.
“I probably have more experience with hockey at high levels, but I have been playing soccer and hockey my whole life,” said Deighan. “I love both of them. I can’t pick what I love more. They are both equal.”
It’s safe to say Deighan has a strong passion for sports.
“For sure,” she confirmed. “I couldn’t see myself not playing sports.”
- Click here for update on Holland Hurricanes' opening game at CCAA nationals:
- Click here for feature story on Borden-Carleton native Rachel Green of the Holland College women's soccer team:
- Click here for feature story on West Devon native Hayden Porter of the Holland College men's soccer team:
- Click here for story on Hayden Porter named ACAA male athlete of the week:
- Click here for story on Holland Hurricanes sweeping ACAA soccer championships: