© CHRISTOPHER CAMERON - THE NEWS
Members of the Northern Nova United U-18 girls soccer team that will be graduating this season from the team pose for a photo before a friendly against the senior women’s team on Wednesday night. The U-18 team is off to provincials this weekend where they hope to win gold, which they lost by one goal last season. From left: Jessica Taylor, Veronica Deno, Jenna Fraser and Haley Tibbetts. Missing from photo: Katie Walsh, Krishma Joshi, Vicki Oliver and Sydney Adamson.
The Northern Nova United U-18 girls are provincial bound, some for the last time.
Many members of this team have been playing for NNU since U-12 and have had many successful years; two provincial gold, three silver, two bronze, countless tournament championships, and were named the club team of the year in 2012 - these girls have left a long legacy.
“This group of young ladies is extremely talented and wonderful to coach,” said head coach Jackie Fitt-Ryan. “They have dedicated their years to the sport of soccer, and their success demonstrates that hard work pays off. They truly are a special group.”
The plan is simple, take home the gold. This will be challenging, as the team will be missing starting players Vicki Oliver and Sydney Adamson sidelined due to injury, and Katie Walsh who has committed to the St. FX women’s soccer team and will be away with the X-Women.
However the team is deep, and with some shuffling of the lineup they are confident they have the ability to take home the gold.
“Losing in the gold medal game last year 3-2 was tough, and the players feel like they have something to prove,” said Fitt-Ryan.
“It will definitely change a lot of things not having them in the lineup,” said graduating player Jenna Fraser. “I’ll be playing a position I’ve never played before, but I still think we can do it though.”
The team opens the provincial tournament Saturday at noon against Cole Harbour and 4 p.m. against East Kings (Valley 2). Sunday morning at 10 a.m. they play Halifax County. The results of these games will determine when and if the team plays Sunday afternoon in one of the medal games.
After this year the youth program will be graduating Veronica Deno, Fraser, Jessica Taylor, Adamson, Oliver, Krishma Joshi, Haley Tibbetts and Walsh. These players will be strongly missed in the club, but their contribution will not be easily forgotten.
“I’ve loved playing here since I started with the under-12 team,” said Taylor. “It’s definitely going to be weird not playing next summer. The friendships we’ve made over the years are what has made this so much fun and so special.”