Posted on: August 10, 2017
It’s time to get down to work for the Thompson Rivers University WolfPack women’s soccer team.
The ‘Pack are set to open their 2017-18 Canada West training camp today (Fri Aug 11) with just over 30 players.
This marks the end of Kelly Shantz’s first ‘full cycle’ as head coach of the program. He and his coaching staff are excited to get going. “ This is my first full swing at bringing in the recruits that I want starting to build the program from the ground up. I’m really interested to see what the result will be when we bring in all these girls from throughout Western Canada in together and get them to jell.”
Again this season, the WolfPack will be a young team—perhaps the youngest in the nation—with only one fourth year player(defender Christine Fergin of Waterloo, Ontario) and two third years (Marisa Mendonca (midfield, Penticton, BC) and Natalie Verdiel (defender, Powell River, BC).
Shantz has brought in 10 signed recruits including four teammates from the Upper Island Riptide of Comox/Courtney, BC: Abbie Simms, Camryn Curts, Danielle Robertson, and Olivia Bates.
“I am really pleased with the recruiting class. It is a big one. Several of last year’s players have left and gone on to other things. I expect to have 15 freshmen on the roster again. When you are bringing four or five in every year you pretty well know where they are going to jell and where your holes are. When you are rebuilding you are looking at filling every position. That was definitely my plan going forward. We have some good returning players at different positions but we had needs at every position. I think we have raised our athleticism, our passion for the game. Our soccer IQ is better and they will adapt a lot quicker to the USport style of play”.
The WolfPack bench boss has a history of getting the best out of his players while developing them. Since he took over the reigns as head coach, Shantz has had to simplify his strategy and teach his players the basics before instilling advanced systems. He says the recruits they have brought in are all products of good programs and should be able to grasp what he is expecting quickly. Something that is essential in a short fall season.
“I’m hoping to ramp it up and get more technical right away.” he adds. “Christine will be a great leader and both Natalie and Marisa have played a lot. Usually coaches lean on those leaders to help nuture the young players on how to do things and coach on the field. It’s up to us coaches to learn what these girls (first year’s) can do. It’s a big job. We have a large group of second year players who are still learning the ropes. There will be a ton of teaching going on. That’s what training camp is all about. We will gauge where we are and where we can elevate things or scale them back.”
As far as expectations for training camp, Shantz says the players seem to be committed. “I told them to show up in shape. We don’t have six weeks for you to do that. We are going to do some fitness testing out of the gate. The feedback I am getting from the players I see around Kamloops is that they have trained hard, got help from personal trainers and played in leagues that have them in a position where they came come on really quickly. We should be able to form our roster in short order.”
The training camp is compressed with the WolfPack having six exhibition matches. The first one begins Wednesday (Aug 16) against Capilano University. TRU is also hosting an exhibition tourney with MacEwan University Griffins and the University of Northern British Columbia Timberwolves Aug 18-20. The preseason winds up with two matches in Washington State against Pacific Lutheran and St. Martins Universities.
The TRU Women have a first week bye and don’t see their first regular season match until Saturday, September 8th when they host that same MacEwan squad at Hillside Stadium. Kickoff is 1 pm.
All of the WolfPack regular season matches—home and away—will be shown on a pay-per-view basis on www.canadawest.tv
THROW INS: Practices this weekend might shift to the Soccer Dome depending on air quality. They are scheduled for noon and 6 pm on Friday (Aug 11), 10 am and 6 pm on Saturday (Aug 12) and 10 am on Sunday (Aug 13).
Kevin Fertile, Danielle Fauteux, Alanna Bekkering and Taylor Shantz are back as assistants with the program this year.
Here is the official list of committed recruits for the season:
Emily Mann (5’5”, midfield, Kamloops, BC-South Kamloops Secondary/KYSA U-18 (TOSL)), Olivia Bates (5’5’, Centreback, Courtney, BC -G.P Vanier Secondary/Upper Island Riptide VIPL), Camryn Curts (5’6”,centremid, Courtenay, BC-Mark R. Isfeld Secondary/Upper Island Riptide VIPL), Abbie Simms (5’8”, forward, Comox, BC-Carihi Secondary/Upper Island Riptide, VIPL), Rylee Singleterry (5’7”, defender, Surrey, BC-Clayton Heights Secondary/TSS Black), Danielle Robertson (5’5” keeper, Courtenay, BC-Mark R. Isefeld Secondary/Upper Island Riptide VIPL), Madison Catt (5’7”,fullback, Vernon, BC-Clarence Fulton Secondary-Vancouver Whitecaps Vernon School Academy/TOFC), Shelbie Clarke (5’10”, keeper, Invermere, BC-David Thompson Secondary/Columbia Valley Football Club), Jollee Perrier (5’8” forward, Penticton, BC-Penticton Secondary/Penticton Pinnacles (TOSL), Shae Fuoco (5’5”, striker, Kamloops, BC-South Kamloops Secondary/KYSA U-18 (TOSL).
There are still spots open for the WolfPack’s high performance camp August 28-31st at Hillside Stadium. It is being run by Shantz, his assistants and his players. There will be a special goalkeeping module to the camp apart from its regular activities. The camp is going 9 am to noon. For more information, you either go to the athletics website www.gowolfpack.tru.ca or email Coach Shantz directly at firstname.lastname@example.org . If you are entering grade seven to 12, you are welcome to register.