Yukon’s juvenile soccer teams are ready for pitched battle on the indoor pitch at the 2014 Arctic Winter Games next month in Fairbanks, Alaska.
The two indoor soccer squads in the hunt for ulu gold are well rounded, said team members.
“It’s a really neat combination of a very fast, strong athletic girls,” said juvenile female head coach Jacob Hanson. “They are hard working and they are some really talented players. It’s a really solid team.
We have a well-rounded group of girls with considerable strength.”
Over the last week the female juvenile team has gone from three to four returning players from Yukon’s silver-winning team at the 2012 Arctic Games in Whitehorse.
Yukon’s Thea Carey will miss the Games due to an injury sustained during a cross-country skiing accident.
As a result, alternate Jamie McLeish, who played in 2012, has been put on the roster. Other returners include Jamie Joe-Hudson, Aimee Parker and Mikaela Ponsioen. McLeish and Ponsioen were tied for third on the team and seventh in the tournament in scoring with six goals each at the 2012 Games. Parker had three goals and Joe-Hundson one.
“(Carey) had generated a bunch of dollars for herself to go and she’s donating that money to her teammates,” said Hanson. “The girl who is going to take her spot has shown really strong commitment after the trials … and could be a captain.”
A pair of communities are represented the female team. On board is goalie Sandy Dubois of Dawson City and defender Christine Moser from Atlin, B.C., a town often considered an honourary Yukon community.
Yukon took silver at the 2012 Games with a 5-4 loss to North Alberta in the final.
Yukon’s juvenile male team has just one player, Malcolm Muir, from the 2012 team that placed fifth ahead of Nunavut.
“We look a lot more technical than last time,” said Muir, who at two goals in 2012. “We have a few different players with more variety, so it’s a pretty skillful team this year.
“We have a different variety of players. Some players are fast and more technical, some are good at turns and shooting. It’s a more well-rounded team.”
Yukon is sending four soccer teams, including two junior squads, to Fairbanks. Unlike in 2012, Yukon will not be fielding a team in the intermediate female division due to a lack of numbers.
The 2014 Arctic Winter Games will take place March 15-22.
Juvenile female soccer
Lara Herry-Saint Onge
Coach: Jacob Hanson
Juvenile male soccer
Coach: Victor Lavanderos
Contact Tom Patrick at email@example.com