Written by Andrew Patterson Trinity Western University’s strongest teams are ready to face another season, but with expectations that reach the sky. As the number one ranked women try to repeat as champions, the men’s team will try to retain their dominance on the field. With new and old faces returning to the pitch and the preseason already wrapping up, it looks like the Spartans will be in for another stellar season.
The women’s soccer team does not seem to be hung over at all from their championship, as they finished off the preseason with a 5-1 record. However, key departures have left a question mark on the back end. Nikki Byrne and Jilian Dietrich are two of the four starting defenders that have departed from the team. Although they have left a huge hole, this will leave opportunity for younger players to play in the back under the guidance of Colleen Webber and Jennifer Castillo, two of some of the best centre backs in the country.
Other key departures include Kristen Funk and Tessa Meyer, who were key contributors to the Spartan success in the past seasons. Fortunately, 11 of the 14 defending champions will be returning this year for the women’s team. With the core of last year’s team still remaining, the women’s Spartans soccer team will be expected to perform like champions and continue to hold that winning title.
The men’s team has shown to be a force in this league. Being undefeated in their exhibition matches, they have put a bit of fear in the eyes of the opponents. The Spartans men’s soccer team recruited nine new players, changing the face of the team. One of these nine include six-foot-three striker, Dominic Reinold. The German native has high expectations for the team as he has plenty of NCAA Div. 1 experience in his resume. Last season he notched 21 goals and eight assists in 36 games for Fairleigh Dickinson University. Coach Pat Rohla openly states that he has high expectations for Reinold, calling him a “program changer.” The real matter is that this team has improved from last year on paper and the hopes are high for our men’s team to come home this year with a championship.
Although the pressure is on for these two teams, they have two excellent coaches—Graham Roxburgh and Pat Rohla. This pair has exhibited the ability to put teams together and create chemistry between their players on the field. For the time being, all we can do is wait and see if they perform at the level of the expectations set upon them.