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P.E.I. F.C. girls show love for the game in preparing for under-15 soccer nationals


CHARLOTTETOWN, P.E.I. —

It’s 8:30 on a Saturday morning and about 20 girls are fine tuning their skills for the biggest week of the soccer season.

It’s cold, it’s wet, but the smiles are contagious.

“It’s for the love of the game,” said Lydia Hamill, a 15-year-old Albany native.

“We’re all here wanting to go further in soccer. We’re up early in the morning because we want to do good at nationals.”

Alice Dorsey chases a ball before taking a shot on net Saturday at Simmons Field in Charlottetown during P.E.I. F.C.’s under-15 girls’ soccer practice.
Alice Dorsey chases a ball before taking a shot on net Saturday at Simmons Field in Charlottetown during P.E.I. F.C.’s under-15 girls’ soccer practice.

The team is competing in this week’s Canada Soccer Toyota National Championships Under-15 Cup in Edmonton.

Sarah MacEachern, a 15-year-old Canoe Cove native, said the team is committed to improving whether it means getting up early in the morning or attending practice later in the evening.

“It’s all good,” she said. “You feel like you’re getting better every day and I always want to go to soccer practice, so I guess that’s a good thing. It doesn't matter what time it’s at.”

Hamill is a holding midfielder for the squad. She attended nationals a year ago in Montreal and knows what the talent level will be like when they hit the turf today for their opening game.

“It was really good last year, so we just have to keep our compete level up and work hard,” she said.

The team won’t be easing into the competition as it starts by playing the two-time defending champions from British Columbia. But they know they can compete with the squad. A year ago, they held a 1-0 lead with about 15 minutes to play before losing 3-1.

“It was a really good game,” Hamill said. “We can compete with these bigger teams.”

MacEachern, who normally plays centre midfield, is attending her first nationals.

“It’s really exciting,” she said Saturday. “It’s starting to feel real now. In a couple of days now we’re going to be on the plane and I think all of our team is excited.”

Hamill said communicating on and off the field and cheering on one another are two keys for the team.

“We’re all really close and we work as a team and we’ll do what we have to do for our teammates,” added MacEachern. “Being together so long really helps us create that bond. We’re all like best friends.”

The squad, which has been together since last November, finished third in the Nova Scotia league this summer. The team improved all summer and didn't take a loss after the first weekend in June.

“It’s probably one of the more balanced teams I’ve ever had. They’re hard-working girls,” coach Janos Barna said.

He described the team’s style as possession with purpose and noted it can play a variety of ways in order to have success depending on the opposition.

“You have to prepare for everything,” he said. “The whole idea is to develop, and these kids have come a long way since last November.”

The P.E.I. F.C. boys team is also in Edmonton. They open play on Thursday. More on them in tomorrow’s edition.


A look at P.E.I. F.C.’s roster and schedule for this week’s the Canada Soccer Toyota National Championships Under-15 Cup in Edmonton.
Player                              Club

Katie Acorn                      Summerside United

Kate Campbell                 Summerside United

Olivia Devine                    Winsloe-Charlottetown

Alice Dorsey                      Winsloe-Charlottetown

Sophie Freeman                Winsloe-Charlottetown

Lydia Hamill                        Central Queens

Ardyn Hardy                       Summerside United

Olivia James                        Summerside United

Ria Johnston                        Winsloe-Charlottetown

Sarah MacEachern              Eliot River

Paige MacLean                   Summerside United

Cyla McCloskey                   Eliot River

Grace McQuaid                    Winsloe-Charlottetown

Mya Moffatt                           Summerside United

Lindsey Smith                        Eliot River

Alayna Trenholm                    Summerside United

Fayth Zurhide                         Eliot River

Mackensie Ramsay (AP)        Eliot River

Coaches – Janos Barna and Emily White


Schedule

A look at P.E.I. F.C.’s schedule for the Canada Soccer Toyota National Championships Under-15 Cup in Edmonton. All times are Atlantic.

Today

P.E.I. F.C. vs. Surrey United (B.C.), 4:30 p.m.

Thursday

P.E.I. F.C. vs. C.S. Dieppe (N.B.), 3:30 p.m.


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