Soccer

Women’s soccer focuses on local youth development

written by Graeme Benjamin
September 15, 2014 4:47 pm

Tigers add four Scotians to their roster

(Photo by Eric Cederberg via AUS)

(Photo by Eric Cederberg via AUS)

The Dalhousie women’s soccer team has a new look, and they’re keeping things close to
home.

The Tigers, who are coming off a disappointing semifinal loss to the Acadia
Axewomen to end their season, have added four new Nova Scotian players to their squad,
who head coach Jack Hutchison believes will help shape the team in years to come.

Alex Tarasuk, Jaimee Mulrooney, Jensen Hudder and Taylor Goodwin are all
local additions to the Tiger varsity family.

“Growing up, I’d always come and play at [Wickwire] and would think, “Wow,
sometime I want to play [there],” said Hudder.

With Taryn McKenna, Andie Vanderlaan, Bianca Jakisa and Joanna Blodgett,
who acted as the backbone for the Tigers over the past few seasons, now graduated,
Hutchison has to focus on developing inexperienced players to Atlantic University Sport (AUS) standards.

With a total of 11 Tigers in their first year of eligibility, relying on the experience
of the varsity players will be vital. Tarasuk, who was a member of the U18 provincial
team that placed third at nationals last year, says senior players have been excellent at
communicating with the rookies so far.

“They have really great self-discipline,” she said, in regards to the veteran
players. “They know how to push themselves, they never slack off and they give us the
motivation to push ourselves to become better players.”

Since the AUS Championships will be hosted by Dal this year, the rookies are
eager for their chance to compete at a high level in front of their home crowd.
“It’s a lot of pressure to have AUS at our home turf,” said Tarasuk. “There will be
a lot of people watching us and there will be a lot of expectations.”

Taylor Goodwin, who competed in the 2013 Canada Games for team Nova
Scotia, says she’s excited to act as a mentor for local youth who strive to make the team
when they’re older.

“We kind of feel like role models for younger players that we’ve coached over the
years,” she said. “It’s pretty cool to have people supporting you and wanting to watch
you play and succeed.”

With a fresh look and a clean slate, Hutchison and the Tigers look to put last
year’s mediocre season behind them and start anew.

Mulrooney, who was one of the starting backs for the Tigers last weekend,
believes her team is prepared.

“This team itself is the best team I’ve played on in a long time,” she said. “The
quality of soccer is new and exciting and I’m looking forward to it.”

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