Yukon’s junior female soccer team will have targets on their backs at the 2014 Arctic Winter Games this March in Fairbanks, Alaska.
Not only is Yukon the defending gold medalist in the junior female division at the Games, more than half the team is back on board for another go.
“Really strong,” said head coach Charly Kelly, describing her team. “They are a seasoned group of girls, so they have all played a lot of soccer.”
The team features five who played on Yukon’s gold-winning junior female team at the 2012 Arctic Games in Whitehorse. Included is the division’s top-scorer Camille Galloway, who scored 14 goals in five matches. Also on board are Jaylene Kelly and Morgan Paul, who tied for sixth in scoring with three goals each.
The team also includes Hannah Milner and Samantha Wintemute from Yukon’s silver-winning juvenile female squad from the 2012 Arctic Games. Milner was third in scoring in the tournament’s division with nine goals and Wintemute tied for fourth in scoring with eight.
All but forward Rachel Kinvig and alternate Marguerite Tolgyesi played for Yukon at the 2013 Canada Summer Games in Sherbrooke, Que., and the Yukon Strikers U18 rep soccer team last season.
“Rachel played a bit with us as well, but then she branched off into dog mushing,” said Kelly. “So she has played with us before, it’s just been a while.”
In fact, most of the team has been playing together since the under-eight division. Seven played for Yukon at the 2011 Western Canada Summer Games in Kamloops, B.C., taking fifth with a win over N.W.T. in the final match of the tournament.
Yukon’s junior female team won gold at the 2012 Arctic Games on artificial turf, but it’ll be different in Fairbanks. The indoor soccer will take place in gymnasiums on hardwood. The smaller space will make for a quicker game.
“We haven’t had a lot of time together because the team was just selected at the end of November,” said Kelly. “So we have to figure out playing again in a small space. The gym for the Fairbanks Arctics will be a gym like Vanier (Catholic Secondary School), so we’ve been trying to play and practise a lot in that size of space. We got used to playing in the bigger field – the Fieldhouse (at the Canada Games Centre).
“It’s going to be a quick type game … we won’t have the space to open up and move.”
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Samantha Burgis (goalie)
Camille Galloway (forward)
Jaylene Kelly (defence)
Rachel Kinvig (forward)
Carolyn Miller (defence)
Hannah Milner (forward)
Morgan Paul (defence)
Cheyenne Ryan (defence)
Samantha Wintemute (forward)
Marguerite Tolgyesi (alternate)