It's no easy task climbing the mountain and attempting to claim NorWOSSA glory, but it's one that the Muskie girls' soccer team will be taking in stride this season.
With the regular season-opener slated for next Wednesday (May 8) here, when Fort High will welcome both the Dryden Eagles and Kenora Broncos, and with some exhibition games in Thunder Bay slated for this weekend, the Muskies will be working hard on polishing up their skills in all areas of the game.
“Obviously our main goal is going to be to win NorWOSSA, and in order to get there, I expect the girls to perform on game day the way we have been practising,” noted Muskie head coach Sara Roach.
“We have been working really hard with our conditioning and communication. I expect the older girls to guide the younger girls and help them along, but overall, I think the team is really strong and we are going to do well,” she predicted.
New to the Muskies this season are Kathryn Fischer, Montana Plasky, Tegan Hentonnen, Tatum Glowasky, and Jersey Masson.
The returnees include Greta Fedoruk, Jaida Norris, Grace Kowal, Ashlyn Beck, Kayli Machura, Katrina Koomans, Kaylyn Levesque, Cass Roach, Jamie Spencer, Simone Payne, Alina Eldridge, Pasquel Shortreed, Gwen Macdonald, and Janissa Judson.
Roach noted that preparation for the upcoming season has been good as the weather has been cooperating with them for the most part, so the players have been able get out onto the fields a lot more compared to previous years.
“The team is young, so [we've been] learning positions on the field,” she noted.
“Our goalie, Jersey, is a Grade 9 so just working on building her confidence in the net. She played goalie for the Muskie hockey team as well and she had a great showing in our scrimmage last week,” Roach lauded.
“We are also working on maintaining possession of the ball and allowing the ball to do the work.”
In order to get better prepared for the tournament and season games ahead, the Muskies hosted the Rainy River Owls in an exhibition match last Thursday at Fort High.
Fedoruk and Plasky both tallied in the first half and Masson shut the door between the pipes to earn the black-and-gold a 2-0 win.
“We had a scrimmage against Rainy River last week and things are looking very positive,” Roach enthused.
“We won the scrimmage 2-0, with goals being scored by Greta and Montana. We have a few exhibition games this weekend in Thunder Bay and a tournament in Kenora the following weekend,” she added.
The Eagles then will host both the Muskies and Broncos on May 15 while the regular-season finale is set for May 22 in Kenora.
The NorWOSSA playoffs are slated for May 29 in Dryden, with OFSAA to follow on June 6-8 in Belle River.