Best foot forward!

Orillia varsity soccer teams started the season strong against Georgian Orillia

By: Kristen Grasse, Orilla

best-foot-forwardOn Friday, September 23rd, both men’s and women’s varsity soccer teams participated in exhibition games against Georgian College. The exceptional effort led to a victory for both the men’s and the women’s teams. While the game was scheduled to be played at Rotary Place, Lakehead’s home practice turf, a last minute change forced the teams to relocate to Kitchener Park, also in Orillia. Some described the field as troublesome and found it to be a tough obstacle to overcome.

The 2015-2016 varsity indoor soccer season was the first for the Orillia campus, after a growing desire for the teams throughout the past few years. Both teams faced countless challenges last season and are anticipating to take what they’ve learned and build upon it for this year’s upcoming season. Numerous new players have expressed curiosity in the teams, which made this exhibition a great first look at the new talent brought to the campus. Many returning players participated in the game, while a group of fresh legs also competed to make a name for themselves.

The men’s team used the strong finish of the women’s team to make a statement of their own. Starting off the game, returning captain Kareem Poonah scored the first goal. Poonah used his strong leadership abilities to encourage his teammates to continue to press Georgian and not play down to their unsportsmanlike level. Another returning player from last season, Josh Rogers, had an unsteady start to the game.  Although he was working tirelessly throughout the first half, bounces were not going his way. Into the second half, he continued to push himself, which resulted in an amazing goal from just outside the 18-yard box. After the game the head coach, Eric Frohman stated, “It is very encouraging that almost every player from last year is returning, and the game showed me that we have some real quality recruits trying out this year. Considering that we have not yet had a single training session, the team reacted in a very positive manner to the challenges of the game. All the players demonstrated a positive attitude and were willing to play in any position. This demonstrates to me that the players have a strong desire to succeed.” The final score of the game was 4-1.

The women’s team stunned Georgian Orillia with a 6-1 win after a remarkable game by new and returning players. The exhibition game was swiftly organized and did not leave enough time to find a head coach for the team, which resulted in April Scholz and Shai Kemp stepping up to the role and leading their team to victory.  Kemp is a fourth-year veteran of the team and has shown her teammates and competition that she is only getting better, scoring four goals during the game. Kemp had nothing but optimism following the game: “Overall, the game was great! It was nice to have the team back out and playing together. We have some things to work on before the qualifier but we have the potential. The team plays and communicates very well, which will be an advantage for the upcoming season.”
Evidently, with a solid start to the season, both teams need to continue pushing themselves to improve. Official tryouts will be set for the beginning of October. Once the teams have been finalized, training will continue throughout the first and second semester. OCAA competition has been set to begin the middle of January.