Muskie girls’ soccer team all set to go

The warm spring rains and greening grass signal the start of another Muskie soccer season.
The girls’ program, headed by second-year coaches Laura and Adam Craig, is looking for bigger and better things this season.
“We have set very high expectations for this year,” said Laura Craig. “Compared to last year, we have stronger leadership, experience, and athleticism.”
The club boasts a solid lineup of veteran players, anchored by Grade 12 keeper Shannon Gibson, senior defenders Natalie Cain and Alyssa Holliday, mid-fielders Paige Chambers, Rachel Hettinga, and Erin Kaemingh, and strikers Claire Crichton, Blaire Harnett, Sandi Elliott, and Michelle Cournoyer.
Adam Craig said the squad is hoping to fill the net a bit more this season.
“We’ve been experimenting with different formations this year, hoping to be a little more offensive-minded than last year,” he noted.
Based on what the Craigs have seen so far, they have reason to be excited about this year’s team.
“Thus far, we’ve been impressed with the positive attitude, work ethic, and commitment of our players,” said Adam Craig, noting they have a number of excellent players filling out the roster.
Also tending goal this season will be versatile Grade 10 student Taylor Meyers, who also suits up for the Muskie basketball and hockey squads.
Other defenders include Melissa McDonald, Emily Haggberg, Brittany McCoy, Anikka McTavish, and Nicole Mueller (sister of longtime Muskie boys’ standout Andrew Mueller).
At midfield, the black-and-gold also will rely on Paula Vangel, Kelsey Quibell, Lauren Pierce, Emma Elliott, and Paige Yatchuk.
After much practise, including sprinting, strength, agility, and endurance training, the girls hit the pitch this weekend for the annual St. John’s Ravenscourt tournament in Winnipeg. The Muskies open play Friday at noon, followed by a 6:30 p.m. game.
On Saturday, the girls take to the pitch at 9 a.m. and then at either 2 or 4 p.m., with a return home late that night.
The following weekend (May 4-5), the Muskie host their annual NorWOSSA season-opening tournament.
They’ll face Dryden at 9:30 a.m. on the Friday before taking Beaver Brae (Kenora) at 6:30 p.m. Then on Saturday, it’s Beaver Brae again at 11 a.m. and Kenora Thomas Aquinas at 3:30 p.m.
The following week (May 10-11), the girls travel north to Kenora for league tilts with Dryden and Beaver Brae on the Thursday and exhibition matches with Dryden and Rainy River on the Friday.
This year’s NorWOSSA showdown will be played Wednesday, May 16 in Dryden, with the ultimate goal being a trip to the all-Ontarios the week of June 4 in Wallaceburg.