Veteran men’s squad ready to go
In his fifth and final year, men’s soccer captain Jamie MacDonald has his eyes set on something he’s yet to achieve so far — a national championship.
He’s had a pair of chances in the last five years, and now he’s feeling this year will result in number three.
“The ultimate goal here is going to nationals, so coming short of that is a disappointment, but we are going to put that behind us and look forward to this year,” he said, alluding to the bronze-medal finish the team encountered last year.
“Hopefully our goal is to make it to Quebec (national championship),” MacDonald said. “If we can do that, it will be a success.”
His head coach is taking a more conservative approach, but he’s still chasing the CCAA Champsionship, something MRU hasn’t won since 2003.
“I certainly hope so,” said Jamie Pollock, on his team’s championship chances. “Our approach this year is very clichéd: one day at a time.
“Our next game is against Lakeland and we can’t get too far ahead of ourselves, we have a lot of work to do.
“We have some certainly good qualities, but we have a lot of places to improve as well.”
So far, so good for the team.
Through three games, all on the road, the Cougars are perfect, allowing only one goal in the process.
“We got our first win, which was good,” said Pollock on their opener against SAIT, a 1-0 victory. “It wasn’t the prettiest game in the world, but I thought we battled quite well and in the second half, we settled the game down a little bit, created enough chances and put one away.
The Cougars are returning 14 players from last year’s bronze-medal-winning team, as well as a pair of Cougars who weren’t apart of the team last season.
“The good thing is we have 14 returning players, so guys with a bit of experience,” he said.
As well, Pollock feels his group of freshman have the ability to push the veterans right away.
Most importantly, goalkeeper David Thalheimer returns, looking to improve on his 1.00 GAA from a year before. So far, he owns two shutouts.
“We have a lot of good veterans and we’ve got a couple of kids who can play at a high level and the young kids are certainly doing their job,” said MacDonald.
The team’s home schedule opens up on Sept. 24.
The athletics department is giving away a free iPad to one lucky fan.