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University ball paying dividends here

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Although she is one of the dominant scorers in the Borderland Women’s Soccer League this season, MEC right-winger Keira Main calls her play-making abilities her most outstanding asset.

Tied for second in scoring with Melissa Armstrong of Causeway (both with 16 goals), the 21-year-old former Muskie, who played in the all-Ontario championships in Hamilton in 1991, said she prides herself on her ability to move the ball to the middle of the field, setting up teammates like Elizabeth Leishman with pin-point passes.

Still, Main was in the spotlight during last Friday’s exhibition game between an alumni squad and a team of current Muskies, scoring a natural hat-trick in the first half to lead the alumni to a 4-1 win.

Struchan Gilson, who coached his Muskies for the exhibition contest, said Main’s three-goal performance was typical of the offensive talents he grew accustomed to watching during her tenure with the black-and-gold.

"She’s a very quick player, who’s tough to corral when she has the ball because she has that added ability to shield the ball very well," he enthused. "And she understands the game."

"She definitely has speed," echoed MEC teammate Jodi Johnson. "I’ve played behind her since high school and her determination and goal-scoring [ability] are an asset to our team."

That speed enabled Main to make the jump from high school soccer to the university ranks, where she has spent the past two seasons patrolling the striker position with the Windsor Lancers of the OWIAA.

Although the Lancers have struggled in the win column during her time there, the experience has allowed her to bring a vast array of soccer knowledge back here to Fort Frances.

"[Keira] has brought back different skills and plays that she’s showed us, like different plays on corner kicks," Johnson noted.

Main admitted the "best women’s league in Canada" was quite a jump from the NorWOSSA circuit. But she quickly added she owes her success to the talented coaching staff that taught her the finer points of the game during her Muskie career.

"Everything I have to feel about the game of soccer I owe it to Mr. Gilson," enthused Main, who is majoring in Kinesiology at Windsor. "He’s by far the best coach I’ve ever had."

Main also said she may not be able to bid for a roster spot on this year’s Lancer team due to school commitments that will have her away during tryouts. Whether she’ll play there again this season will depend on what the coaching staff decides, she said.

Until then, Main has her sights set on helping MEC defend their league title--a feat she said won’t be easy.

"Last year we dominated the league but this year it should be close with us and Causeway [currently tied for first with 19 points apiece].

"We may have a better offensive team but it should be tight. Anyone can win [the championship]," Main added.

"But if we work together and pass with one another, we’re as good a team as anyone," she noted.

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