First year goalkeeper, Kate Fines, is entering the second half the Dalhousie University soccer season with five shutouts under her belt, and a 0.29 goals against average.
The Dalhousie Tigers women’s soccer team has played seven games this season: winning four, losing two and tying one. For all 630 minutes of play, Fines has been their go-to girl between the bars.
“I didn’t think I would start as many games as I have,” said Fines. “I thought that I’d be on the bench a little more, and it’s not what I expected at all – as a rookie, it’s not what you would expect.”
Fines decided to join the Dal Tigers in order to stay home and be closer to her parents with her dad facing medical concerns over the last few years.
Playing soccer allows her to forget everything happening off the field.
“The adrenaline after making a big save, you feel nothing in your entire body. I love that feeling. In the St. FX game I saved a PK (penalty-kick), and I could not feel anything in my body.”
Fines has saved 32 shots in seven games, with only two goals allowed, and a save percentage of .941 – stats any coach or player would be happy with.
As a Haligonian, Fines has been working with coaches Cindy Tye, and Gary Carter for the last four years – most recently in this summer’s Canada Games – earning a trust most rookies would have to work for at practice.
“Kate has had a great start in her freshman year,” said Head Coach Cindy Tye. “She loves to train and always wants to learn more about what she can improve. We would like her to continue that mindset and enjoying her experience to continue to get the most out of her freshman year.”
Fines attributes her success with the relationships she’s built on and off the field with the coaches and players.
“They’re just my second family pretty much,” said Fines. “When their positive attitude reflects onto me, it makes me want to play better, and when they can rely on me, I can rely on them.”
The second half of the season will see the women’s soccer team face some tough opponents in Cape Breton University, who is first in the league, and St. Francis Xavier, who is one point behind Dalhousie.
“Two more wins, that’s what I absolutely want, I want two more wins,” said Fines. “We have five games left, and I want to make top four. Our goal as a team was to make top four, and I know it’s going to be hard especially against CBUand X but I know we can do it, but making top four is our goal.”
Fines also set a personal goal: six shutouts and making it to playoffs.
She currently has five shutouts, which is one back from Memorial University’s first-year keeper, Sydney Walsh, leading the league with six.
“Stats do matter to me. Like I look and I’m one of the only goalkeepers who has four shutouts and above. I have five shutouts out of seven games, and that’s huge for a goalie. It makes you feel good about yourself,” she says. “My mom and I check at the end of week to see where I stand, and if you look at the minutes played I’m one of the only goalies that’s played every minute of regular season.”
The Tigers are at home next on Oct. 28 at 1 p.m.