League News

PEI FC Win McCain NBPSL Regular Season Title

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P.E.I. F.C. wins New Brunswick soccer title
Jason MalloyPublished on July 18, 2014

SoccerStop P.E.I. F.C. is back on top.

The Island team defeated Codiac First Touch 3-0 in Moncton on Friday to clinch the McCain New Brunswick Premier Soccer League title. P.E.I. F.C. won the league in 2012, but finished third last year with a 10-5-1 record.

“We earned what we got this season,” Matt Thomson said after the game. “Nothing was given to us, nothing was an easy win. It was because we worked hard and played well as a team.”

Adam Lowther scored the winner on a first half breakaway. Thomson added the insurance goal midway through the second half by knocking home a low corner kick from Jimmie Mayaleh.

“The game broke wide open off that one,” Thomson explained. “They had to open up the midfield and we were able to get a lot of counters going.”

Moments later Jared Murphy added the dagger. Brett MacDonald earned the clean sheet, his sixth of the season, as P.E.I. F.C. improved to 13-1-1 while second-place Codiac dropped to 8-4-1.

“Our back-line played outstanding tonight, especially Max Maund and Ryan Casey,” Thomson said.

The title comes after the team’s future was uncertain this winter after longtime coach and organizer John Diamond took a step back.

“We had the discussion whether or not we should make the commitment to play in this league and it was an overwhelming yes,” Thomson said.

After Friday’s game coaches Dave Snowie and Bruce Norton told the players they should be proud of what they accomplished.

“We got the job done,” Thomson said. “Everybody is pleased with how the season turned out.”

Thomson and other members of the player management committee have said all season the team has been successful because of its depth. Thomson reiterated it again Friday, saying when substitutions were made the player coming in was more than capable of replacing the teammate going out.

“That’s a recipe for success,” he said.

The team concludes league play July 26 in Moncton against Codiac.


Reds defeat Wanderers

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P-Reds top Wanderers

   The Fredericton Picaroon Reds (5-7-1) earned take their second McCain Premier Soccer League victory in a row over the FDSA Fredericton Inn Wanderers (3-8-1) in the third matchup of the Elm City Derby Friday night at Scotia-bank Park South.

   Galen Smith scored the game’s only goal as the Reds registered a 1-0 victory.

   “It was one of those ones you were watching and just hoping, you know, it looks like it’s going in but you don’t know,” Smith said about the ball that trickled into the bottom left corner of the Wanderers’ net.

   But it took a while for a goal to be scored in the tightly matched game. With the Reds playing with only two subs, and the Wanderers sitting comfortably with five spares and an extra goalie, it was a hot and tiring game for the Reds.

   “That was a rough day, low numbers. This time in the summer sometimes people have other priorities with life – vacations, weddings, so on,”said Smith.

   “Hopefully we can have a bit more numbers and it will be another hard-fought battle and we hope to come out on top.”

   The Reds’ Louie Richard had the first real chance of the game with a perfect cross in front of the net, but the Wanderers defence would keep them at bay.

   There were few chances after Richard’s until Smith scored off a free kick 25 minutes in, barely making it into the net but giving the Reds the lead, and ultimately, the victory.

   “I was kind of upset because we lost our marks and it’s stuff we’ve been working on and its stuff we should know and it shouldn’t happen,” said Wanderers goalie MacKenzie Hill.

   But he said all 11 players are to blame for the goal, not just himself or the defence.

   “It was a little too far out for me to come out and get, and he put it in a nice spot.”

   Marking played a key role and he said he should have communicated with his players better, but said when it comes down to it, it was a nice goal.

   “So obviously I was pretty upset at the time. It ended up costing us the game, so we’ve got to get back to the drawing board.”

   Hill also said he touched the ball more than usual, which left him feeling gassed.

   “Not necessarily shots, but whether it be coming out and stuff, but nothing out of the ordinary.”

   Not atypical for the matchup, yellow cards were handed out to both sides Marcus Hallet would get the first one of the game after taking out the Reds’ Victor Karosan from behind in an attempt to get the ball out of his half, but the free kick would be put right into the goalie’s hands.

   At the 37 minute mark, Karosan got a yellow card of his own for an illegal move on Marco Riedel at the 30-yard line.

   Rory Keys would have the last chance of the half, attempting to get a second goal for the Reds, but he would be called offside and the first half would see the Reds with the lead.

   The Wanderers came out stronger in the second half, dictating most of the play and creating a few more chances.

   Wanderers forward David Jamael had a chance to tie it early in the second half, but booted through the football goal posts.

   Hallet would come up with another chance with a perfectly crossed ball in front of Reds goalkeeper Luke Olmstead, but with no one there to put the final touch on the ball it would be wasted.

   The game continued back and forth, but the single goal stood up. Smith was proud of the Reds’ effort. “You always want to score more goals, but you’re proud with any win,” said Smith. “We worked hard, we came and we won a hard-fought game, so you take pride in that.” Hill and the Wanderers believe they can be better. “We’re not proud of this game, we know we can do better,”said Hill. “We will do better.” Reds backup Luke Olmstead picked up the clean sheet, filling in for starter Adam Grant, who is away. “We have two excellent goalies – so it’s really not a big worry,”said Smith. “There were a few tricky balls and he dealt with them very, very well.” Smith said he is looking forward to their fourth and final matchup against the Wanderers and the Reds are hoping to keep their lead.

   “They are always tight games and they’re going to come out playing quite hard, but hopefully we can keep the momentum going,”he said.

   “We won the last two, they won the first one, so it’s obviously anybody’s game, but it’s nice to be the ones winning right now.”

P-Reds, Wanderers battle for playoff spot

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P-Reds, Wanderers battle for playoff spot July 16 

   The Fredericton Picaroons Reds (4-7-1) and the FDSA Fredericton Inn Wanderers (3-7-1) are gearing up for the third instalment of the Elm City Derby on Friday night in McCain New Brunswick Premier Soccer League action.

   The teams have split the season series so far, with the Wanderers taking the first game 2-0 on June 21 and the P-Reds rebounding for a 3-0 win on July 4.

   The P-Reds won two of their last four games, including a 1-1 draw against the first-place P.E.I. FC on Sunday in P.E.I.

   The Wanderers have dropped two in a row and have given up a combined nine goals during that span.

   “In the last 25-20 minutes of the game, we seem to shut down,”said Wanderers coach Joe Ross.“It’s been a challenging thing to try to find a way to keep the boys going for a full 90 minutes.”

   Ross and the coaching staff isn’t sure if it’s an attitude, conditioning or depth issue that’s been troubling the Wanderers this season. The Wanderers are trying to find a solution sooner rather than later.

   “If we’re going to have success in the last half of the season, we’re going to have to change that. If not, that could be our Achilles heel, and it’s something the boys need to be conscious of,” Ross said.

   The P-Reds lead the Wanderers by three points and have four games remaining on their schedule. The Moncton Tom Cormier Co-operators Codiac First Touch (8-3-1) are in second with 25 points. P.E.I FC (12-1-1) is first with 35 points. Fundy United (1-10) is last with three points.

   The Wanderers aren’t using injuries as an excuse for their struggles.

   “It’s all about taking care of yourself. Every team goes through that, and it’s not an excuse. Yeah, you can have key injuries, but then other guys need to step up and fill that role,”Ross said.

   Codiac defeated the Wanderers 6-2 on Saturday night in Moncton. Wanderers goalkeeper McKenzie Hill called it one of the lowest points in the season for the team.

   “We’re going to have to test our mental toughness on Friday,” Hill said. “I think we’re going to bounce back fine. We just need to have a couple good practice sessions and be ready and sharp for the game.”

   Hill said despite letting six goals in the last game, it’s all water under the bridge, and he is focused heading into the game on Friday.

   “Mental toughness is huge. To tell you the truth, I think my play so far this season has been good, and that game doesn’t really reflect my play,”Hill said.

   As for the P-Reds, so far it’s been a July to remember – compared to a June to forget.

   “June couldn’t have gotten any worse for us,” said P-Reds player coach Jon Crossland. “We didn’t really have anywhere to go but up. The big thing on our side is our effort level has been higher and our player availability has been a lot more consistent over the last two weeks.”

   Crossland expects another physical and chippy game versus the Wanderers

   “It will be entertaining. We’re still two teams that are fighting to finish as high in the standings as possible, so this game is massive for both teams,” Cross-land said.

   Crossland hopes that the P-Reds will be able to spread their gap to six points over the Wanderers. The P-Reds have signed goalkeeper Luke Olmstead. Olmstead has been practising with the team for the past few weeks and played in net this past weekend against P.E.I FC. The 23-year-old Olmstead, who is from Fredericton, moved back from Newfoundland earlier this month and will help add depth to the P-Reds goal-tending with veteran Adam Grant.

   “It keeps those two competitive for playing time. Adam has done very well for us over the last three years. He’s never had anyone to push him or challenge him because he’s been the guy the last couple years here. Having Luke around will be good for that come playoff time,”Crossland said. The final sign ing date is July 31, and a team’s roster can be no bigger than 25 players.

   Game time is 8 p.m. at Scotiabank Park South.

   In McCain New Brunswick Women’s Premier Soccer League, Fundy United entertains the Fredericton Wanderers Under-21 team at Barker Field at 7 p.m

   Before the men’s match on Sunday the Under-21 Wanderers will host the Fredericton Picaroons Reds at 6 p.m. at Scotiabank park South.

   The Wanderers are off to Edmundston on Sunday for a 1 p.m. showdown against the Edmundston Honda Crazy Babes FC.

First Touch earn road victory

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First Touch earn road victory Times & TranscripT sTaff

THe Moncton Tom Cormier Co-operators Codiac First Touch edged Saint John Fundy United 2-1 in a McCain New Brunswick Premier Men’s Soccer League game played in foggy conditions last night at the Canada Games Stadium. Chris Yapi scored the game-winner with 15 minutes left in the second half. Mario Hennessey controlled a corner kick then back-heeled a pass to Yapi who delivered the decisive goal. Daniel Mallet, assisted by Connor Mc-Cumber, also scored for First Touch. Joe Robichaud replied for Fundy United. Codiac improved its record to 8-3-1 while Fundy United fell to (1-10-0).

Crazy Babes FC to Host WC Finals‏ viewing party

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Join, share and have a blast!!(https://www.facebook.com/events/511074098994542/)

We are proud to announce that the Edmundston Honda Crazy Babes FC & it’s sponsors Café D’la Vieille Forge and Energym have joined forces to host the FIFA World Cup Finals at the Cafe D’la Vieille Forge on Sunday at 3PM, July 13th!
Come and cheer on as two teams will compete to win the ultimate prize!! Everyone is invited (Yes, even those under 19!)…Invite your friends, your families and anyone else you may think of!!!
Some prizes can be won! Bringing non-perishable items will provide you additional chances to win!


Wanderers Host a viewing of the World Cup Final on July 13th

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The FDSA Fredericton Inn Fredericton Wanderers invite you to the 2014 FIFA World Cup Viewing held at the Capital Exhibit Centre on July 13th, 2014. Doors open at 2:00 pm – Kick off begins at 4:00 pm.

Tickets are $10 for adults and $5 for youth under 14 years of age. The event will be wet/dry gathering.

Moosehead products and Pizza slices will be sold on site. Tons of door prizes by Moosehead to be won!

A FIFA 2014 Gaming Center will be on site wherein you can challenge your friends in a head to head match on Play Station and XBOX

We invite everyone in the Fredericton Community to join us in making this sporting event memorable for all.


Tickets can be purchased in advance by emailing your name and $10 to WanderersSC@gmail.com or by contacting any Wanderers SC player/ affiliate.

Link to event on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/events/282158108622402/

Another round in soccer rivalry Friday

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Another round in soccer rivalry Friday
McCain Soccer | P-Reds host Wanderers in Elm City Derby II matchup

   It’s another big weekend for the two Fredericton-based soccer teams in Mc-Cain New Brunswick Premier Soccer League.

   The Fredericton Picaroons Reds (2-6-0) and the FDSA Fredericton Inn Wanderers (3-5-1) play a pair of home games this weekend, including one against each other on Friday night at 8 p.m. at the BMO Centre.

   The P-Reds are looking to avenge a 2-0 loss at the hands of the Wanderers on June 21 in the first leg of the Elm City Derby. The P-Reds have dropped five in a row and have been outscored 15-3 in that span.

   “It’s frustrating,” said P-Reds player/ coach Jon Crossland.“We’re struggling to score goals for sure. It’s not because of a lack of chances. I think we’ve created chances in every single game we’ve played, so the focus just needs to be there when we get the opportunity to finish them.”

   The P-Reds were 1-5 in the month of June.

   No better time to get things going than against a rival.

   “We’re excited to get out there and for lack of a better term, forget June and start fresh in July because June wasn’t a great month for us,”Crossland said.

   Crossland said the P-Reds haven’t been giving up a lot of chances, but the opportunities given the opposition have been costly. Crossland leads the P-Reds with three goals, while five other players are tied at one goal apiece.

   On Saturday, the Wanderers will play host to Fundy United (1-9) at 7 p.m. at Scotiabank Park South. On Sunday, the P-Reds will host Codiac First Touch (6-2-1) at 2 p.m. at the BMO Centre.

   The Wanderers are trying to extend their winning streak to three games when they hit the pitch on Friday.

   “We’ve been playing decently well all season,” said Wanderers co-coach Joe Ross.“Things just sort of clicked. Some of our guys have decided they were going to step up, and since then we’ve been OK and we hope to keep going in the same direction.”

   The Wanderers were 3-3 in the month of June, which included a 2-0 with over P.E.I. FC, the Island club’s only loss of the season, thus far. “Both games this weekend are must-win games if we want to get our record back to .500,” said Wanderers midfielder David Jamael. He leads the Wanderers offensively with six goals. Colin McIsaac and Zach Wood-Seems are tied for second on the Wanderers team scoring with three goals each. “It’s really easy to get excited for those games,”said Jamael.“They’re our cross town rivals and they’ve had a rough start to the season like we did as well I think it’s important for us to come out and set the tone early and not take them lightly. If we do, we’ll be pun ished,”Jamael said.

   The Wanderers will be without strik er Carl Speed, still nursing an Achilles tendon injury. Speed has played on ly one game this season, and there is no timetable on when he will return The Wanderers will also be without McIsaac and Dylan Hughes, who are attending the Cavendish Beach Music Festival all weekend. Centre-midfield er Max Legg is also out of the mix, away this weekend. Coach Matt DeCourcey is out of town for work, and Ross still has one game left on a three-game sus pension from their game against P.E. FC on June 15. Manager Chris James will serve as coach on Friday with Matt Foster assisting.

   On the P-Reds side, Galen Smith will be out of the lineup on Friday with an injury, but should be back on Sunday.

   The Picaroons Reds (3-0-2) and the FDSA Fredericton Wanderers Under 21 (0-3-1) women’s teams will play at 6 p.m. at the BMO Centre, prior to the men’s game on Friday.

   Admission is $5 for adults, $2 for students and free for kids under the age of 12. The price of admission will cover both men’s and women’s games.

   The U-21 Wanderers hosts FC Chaleur (2-2-2) on Saturday at 2 p.m. at the Scotiabank Park South. The Reds will play the Edmundston-based Crazy Babes FC (1-5-1) on Saturday at 3 p.m. at the BMO Centre.

   On Sunday, the U-21 Wanderers travel to Petit-Rocher for a rematch against FC Chaleur at 12 p.m.

First Touch still working on fine-tuning their game

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New Brunswick Premier League resumes play this weekend
NEIL HODGE Times & TranscripT July 2nd

   Moncton Tom Cormier Co-operators First Touch head coach Patrick Gautreau answered quickly when asked about the things his club needs to work on in the second half of the regular season.

   “We need to make sure we tighten the screws defensively,” he said. “We also need to have a bit more sting offensively. We usually create very good scoring chances during the game, but sometimes we have problems pulling the trigger and making it count. We need to work on our finishing touch.

   “There’s no secrets within our team. Everybody knows what we have to do to fine tune our game before the playoffs.”

   Prince Edward Island FC (11-1-0 for 33 points) sits atop the McCain New Brunswick Premier Soccer League and Moncton (6-2-1 for 19 points) is runner-up. The standings are rounded out by the Fredericton Wanderers (3-5-1 for 10 points), Fredericton Reds (2-6-0 for six points) and Fundy United (1-9-0 for three points).

   League action will resume when the two Fredericton teams meet on Friday. Moncton will continue its 16-game regular season by facing the Reds on Sunday at 2 p.m. at BMO  Centre in Fredericton.

   Moncton’s only two losses came against P.E.I., which has a firm hold on first place overall in the league. Moncton is an original member of the five-year-old league and it’s looking for its first championship.

   “Everybody is really happy with the way our season is going so far,” said Gautreau. “The challenge now is to keep getting better and try to make sure we at least clinch second place. If we can catch P.E.I. for first place and beat them, that’s really a bonus.

   “We need to keep our eye on the prize which is winning the New Brunswick championship and going to nationals (in Vaughn, Ont., in October) We need to make sure that we keep our focus in the right place.”

   It’s only the four New Brunswick teams that participate in the league’s playoffs. P.E.I. automatically qualifies for nationals as a result of there only being one team in that province.

   “We’re focused on finishing first among the New Brunswick clubs in the regular season so that we have home-field advantage in the playoffs, said Gautreau.“That’s important to us We want to keep working on our overall game and make sure we’re peaking at the right time going into the playoffs.”


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Soccer Goalkeeper from Quispamsis enjoyed success on and off the pitch in New York

   QUISPAMSIS Jacob Dunnett doesn’t want credit for Houghton College’s successful season on the soccer pitch.

   “We had a really strong back line and defensive unit that made my job easy,” the goalkeeper from Quispamsis said when asked about the Highlanders’memorable 2013-14 campaign.“We had a good team and some good leaders. We were able to have good chemistry right from the beginning. That really helped us. It didn’t feel like we had older guys on the team and younger guys on the team.”

   Despite all of his humility, Dunnett has already received his share of praise. The 19-year-old was his school’s male athlete of the month for September after helping the Highlanders to a 7-0-1 start.

   During that span, Dunnett allowed just three goals while recording five shutouts. He was also named national student-athlete of the week twice by the National Christian College Athletic Association.

   On top of that, Dunnett earned the NCCAA’s defensive player of the week honours. His efforts helped Houghton finish the season with a 15-4-1 record and a berth in the NCCAA national tournament in Kissimmee, Fla.

   “It was good,” Dunnett said of his freshman season in western New York. “Houghton was really great with helping us adapt to a new environment. Everyone is friendly, so that helped. It’s a good spot to be. I got to play, and it’s a good school, too.”

   Supporting that claim is the fact that the Houghton men’s side was recognized by the NCCAA with a scholar team award for its combined grade-point average of 3.51. That mark was the highest among the Highlanders’ varsity teams, which compete in the Empire 8 Conference (NCAA Division III).

   In addition, five members of Hough-ton College’s men’s and women’s soccer teams were NCCAA All-America selections. Dunnett, a business major, was an honourable mention.

   Dunnett said last summer’s Canada Games in Sherbrooke, Que., laid the foundation for his strong rookie season at Houghton. The Fundy Soccer Association product backstopped Team New Brunswick to an emotional win over Ontario, a contest that had to be decided on penalty kicks.

   And even though New Brunswick came up short in its pursuit of a medal, the Games yielded many meaningful memories. The top-notch competition also provided Dunnett with invaluable preparation for the college ranks.

   “I definitely felt game-ready,”he said. “It was really good to be able to contribute right away. It (college level) was another step for me in terms of speed of play. That’s probably where I improved the most. We had a team that could keep the ball and move it around, and we played at a fast pace.”

   Dunnett is giving back to the sport by working with young FSA goalkeepers.

   “I’ve had lots of experiences coaching with Fundy, and it’s definitely something I’d like to (continue),”he said.“I’d love to coach soccer long-term. I definitely like being around soccer. I can’t see myself not being around the sport.”

   FSA has produced its share of players who have advanced to the college level. Dunnett credits FSA technical director Jason Brown and the association’s dedicated coaches.

   “Fundy is doing a great job,”Dunnett said. “They’re definitely putting a lot of effort into developing kids, and it’s showing. I’m definitely lucky to have grown up playing for Fundy.

   “They definitely encouraged me, and I know they encouraged other players and helped them develop. They never forced it on us, but they made us realize we could move up to higher levels.”

   Brown said Dunnett is a good role model for FSA players, setting an example both on and off the field.

   “He’s matured so much over the years,” Brown said. “He’s at a point where it’s really beneficial for the young kids to be around him. He’s such a nice guy and a good communicator. It’s nice to have an athlete who’s been successful and who’s also a nice person.”

   Brown said Dunnett earned a spot on a college team by putting forth an extra effort. The FSA technical director recalls a coaching symposium involving a member of the Vancouver Whitecaps’ staff.

   The Whitecaps’ representative said young players aspiring to compete at a higher level need to market themselves. And in the age of instant information, sending video footage is a good option.

   Dunnett decided to do that, leading to opportunities that otherwise wouldn’t have unfolded.

   “He took it seriously because he wanted to play at the college level,” Brown said. “He actually had to work for it and he got his reward.”

   Dunnett’s summer job also has him in a coaching role. He’s working for the local kayak club, guiding kids in different age divisions. And when he isn’t playing soccer for his senior squad, you can find him watching the World Cup.

   “I like the amount of games and the variety of different styles of goalkeeping,” Dunnett said. “There’s been too many upsets to make any predictions. I’d like to see Brazil win at home.”

   After the beautiful game’s mega-size tournament is over, Dunnett will digest what he’s observed and use it for his sophomore season. He’s scheduled to return to Houghton in mid-August, at which point the work begins on the pitch.

   “I definitely want to improve on the season we just had,” Dunnett said. “That’s definitely on my mind as a goal. It was a good experience.

   “We’re losing some key players, but we still have some good players around and some good freshmen coming


Posted & categorized League News.

Athletes Association’s elite players are hanging their boots in both Canada and the United States

   SAINT JOHN Do you know Marissa Duguay?

   No? Well, Marissa plays soccer for the University of Memphis Lady Tigers of Tennessee.

   Do you know Jacob Dunnett?

   No? Well, Jacob tends goal for Hough-ton College Highlanders, located in the state of New York.

   How about Rachel Forestell?

   No? Well, Rachel will be a freshman at the University of Alabama this fall, playing soccer for the Crimson Tide.

   The trio of elite athletes from the Kennebecasis Valley may not be destined for future world cups, but they are part of the highly successful Fundy Soccer Association, the largest of its kind in New Brunswick boasting around 2,000 players under the Fundy United banner. Listen to technical director Jason Brown and it’s clear the success the program is achieving is no accident.

   “We take a lot of pride and care ensuring the pathway we provide our kids is well developed,” said Brown, who has been involved in the game for 30 years. “It balances both academics and athletics. Even down to the age of nine and 10, we are talking to boys and girls about what is out there for them and what it takes to achieve these goals. That’s our end goal for kids at the top end – to pursue a higher education and play soccer at the same time, hopefully, with a little bit of contribution on the financial side.”

   Duguay, Dunnett and Forestell aren’t the only soccer players with American addresses during the school year. Three others – Olivia Gauthier of Saint John and Quispamsis residents Spencer Buck and Alex Allison – are Grade 11 students at Shattuck-St. Mary’s School in Faribault, Minn.

   Then, of course, there are Fundy United members playing for Canadian universities. To wit:

   John McPhartland (Dalhousie Tigers), Maria Scichilone (UPEI Panthers), Lacey Purdy (UNB Varsity Reds), Bradley Payne (Mount Allison Mounties), Tyler Connolly (Acadia Axemen) and Maxine Cormier (Université de Moncton Aigles Bleus) are playing major Canadian collegiate soccer in the Atlantic University Sport conference; and

   There are a large number of Fundy athletes in the Atlantic Collegiate Athletic Association (ACAA), led by four UNBSJ Seawolves – Mackenzie Tamblyn, a first-team all-star and most valuable player in the ACAA and an All-Canadian, Karly Baxter, a first-team ACAA all-star and second-team all-stars Louis Richard and Hannah McLeod.

   There are also a truckload of players on various provincial youth teams

   – an area of development that Brown is gushing about. As technical director, coaching and player development falls on Brown, who also holds the reins for the men’s and women’s teams at UNBSJ. The Quispamsis resident’s passion for the sport is well-earned, thanks in large part to those who taught him the world game as a youth.

   “I had some wonderful coaches and teammates when I was playing,” said Brown, a three-time All-Canadian during his playing days at UNBSJ. “I was lucky enough to have a few coaches who had a profound affect on me – Tony Hawker was my club coach and Derek Ward was my provincial team coach. They were soccer-knowledgeable men from England and were great roles models, not only in soccer but as people. They were really good about challenging me as an athlete, but also recognizing the human qualities and developing that side of me.”

   When Brown talks about the athletes playing collegiate soccer stateside, the word“unique”enters the conversation.

   “They are very different from each other,” said Brown. “Marissa is one of those natural athletes who live and breathe in a competitive environment. She loves to play at the highest level. When I first met her, she was eight years old and I don’t think I ever saw her without a ball glued to her feet. I knew right then that soccer was going to take her somewhere.

   “Jacob is a goalkeeper who didn’t switch on to the highly competitive side until he was 13 or 14, but once he did, he was all in. He has a natural affinity for the sport, and he’s a good role model, in house, for other players to look up to. Rachel is a bit of a late bloomer. She is quiet … she was one of those kids you had to be patient with and give her the room to blossom on her own. Once she stepped out of her shell, it was one of the most amazing things I’ve seen as a coach – maybe I wouldn’t have expected the level that she accomplished, but you always knew it was there. You just had to find a way to tap into it.”

   If Brown has one lament, it’s the lack of facilities for soccer in the Saint John region. As popular as the sport is, he is fervent in his belief that the Saint John region is scratching the surface in developing elite players.

   “I look at the next generation … there is a great crop of really young,highly passionate players coming up through the ranks and I think,‘What could they do if we had the proper facilities for them?’” said Brown. “We’re producing athletes that are going on to pretty wonderful things, in spite of not having an indoor facility,or facilities like they have in Fredericton and Moncton – even Bathurst has an indoor soccer facility.

   “I ask myself, ‘How many more kids could we have attending universities on athletic and academic scholarships if their sporting pathway was really supported?’ It’s a challenge because there is only so much facility space around. We’ve been blessed with a number of new outdoor turf facilities in the past few years, which is wonderful, but we still need more space

   – there’s not enough. I wonder what we could achieve if we had an indoor soc cer facility. Sometimes, you have to be patient Everything takes time – it’s a big investment and a lot of work. We real ize that.”