Caul to play college soccer
Although her graduation from Fort Frances High School is still a few months away, Grade 12 student Jess Caul already is looking forward to the future after agreeing to play soccer at Providence University College in Otterburne, Man. this fall.
“I’m pretty excited now so I don’t know if I could get any more excited,” she enthused.
Caul, who officially was accepted into the school on Thursday, will be playing for the Lady Freeman for either three or four seasons, depending on which program she enrolls in.
“I’ll either be in the social work or social sciences program, as both of them lead into the mental health and counselling fields, which is what I want to get into,” the 17-year-old explained.
“I needed to go a place that had those programs, but a school that had soccer was definitely the deciding factor,” she smiled.
Caul, who plays as a striker for the Muskies and also competes in the local indoor and outdoor soccer leagues here, had applied to several colleges and universities in Ontario and also had an on-campus visit to Carleton University in Ottawa.
But it was after a recent visit to the Providence campus, which is located about 40 minutes south of Winnipeg and 20 minutes west of Steinbach, that led her in the direction she wanted to go.
“Otterburne is a very small town, and if you literally blink it’s pretty much gone,” Caul noted.
“But the school is a good size, with about 350-370 students, and it’ll allow me to have that one-on-one time with the professors for my studies,” she reasoned.
During her campus visit, Caul also got a chance to play some soccer with players from the men’s and women’s teams, and had an opportunity to meet Lady Freeman head coach Dante Calla.
“He expects a lot of his players, and that was something that I liked to hear because [Muskie girls’ soccer head coach Sarah] Faragher is the same way,” she noted.
“She stresses having good fitness, and he said the exact same thing as he likes to have everyone be in shape, working hard, and not giving up.”
The Lady Freeman compete mostly in the NCAA in the United States, where they earned a third-place finish at the Division II championships in Florida last season.
“They do play against a number of Canadian teams, but the majority of their games are against teams from the States, with the season starting just before the actual school year begins,” Caul said.
“But when the outdoor season ends, you do have a chance to play indoors as well there,” she added.
While it will be an entirely different level of play, Caul feels her strong form in the local indoor soccer league, where she currently leads in goal-scoring, will help her going forward.
“I’ve really had a chance to develop my foot skills there, and it’s always a hard game in the gym when you are playing against the women here,” she remarked.
“Plus, being able to score on a really small net in the gym is something that I think should help me out a lot when I head back outside,” Caul added.