Not so much anymore
Both the women’s and men’s soccer teams struggled with finding a goalkeeper in the beginning of September, and while the men’s team now has a solid goalkeeper line, the women still face some challenges.
Using his tactical prowess, head coach of the women’s and men’s soccer teams Grant Stevens worked around this problem and the teams seem to be coming to a solution.
“With both male and female [teams] we’ve always had a goalkeeper,” said Stevens. “This is my first year at SAIT that we’ve struggled with a goalkeeper.”
Stevens has coached the Trojans men in his seven years at SAIT and is coaching the women for the second year.
“The men’s side should be okay, I just have a concern for the females at the moment,” said Stevens, who was tactically juggling goalkeepers Amoy Hudson and Katie Morrison in the first few games of the season and now has Emma McIntyre as well. Joel Hugi and Marshall Broom are the standing goalkeepers for the men.
“Goalkeepers are a breed apart,” said Stevens.
Stevens said it’s sometimes difficult to find good goalkeepers.
“It’s good to have a first-year goalkeeper that we can work with; with a promise of having her next year, so that’s a good thing. That’s an advantage,” said Stevens about McIntyre who has goalkeeping experience since the Under14 Calgary city club level up to Under18 after which she took a break for a year and a half. Now it will take some effort and time to build up her skills again.
She hadn’t had the chance to play for the Trojans until the away games against the Lake Rustlers and Red Deer Queens on Sept. 15 and 16.
“I am pretty scared about this weekend but I think I feel ready,” said McIntyre on Sept. 12, through email. “They’ve done a lot of goalie training with me in practice.”
The male and female players completely trust Stevens’ decision of who plays goal.
“It’s a completely different position but I don’t mind, whatever’s best for the team,” said Katie Morrison.
Amoy Hudson shared the same disposition. Even though neither of the two had experience as goalkeepers they were chosen because of their agility and athleticism.
In his “humble opinion” Stevens believes strongly in both his teams’ defensive and offensive players’ abilities to support the goalkeeper’s abilities.
“Amoy and Katie bring different things into the offensive game, so when I switch them up, the opposition gets lost in that tactical milieu,” explained Stevens.
The schedule has the Trojans playing five away games in a row and then their last four games will be at home, which gives Stevens good time to scout the opposition teams to use full tactical power on home turf.
“What predicts who goes into goal will obviously be the opposition,” said Stevens about the women’s team. “If I feel that Emma can handle particular strikers coming through from a particular college then she’ll play. If I find that maybe either Katie can handle it then Katie or Amoy will go into goal.”
For the men, Joel Hugi stepped back from his familiar striker position to stand between the goalposts having had no previous experience in that position. He was later joined by striker Jaron Broom’s younger brother, Marshall, who has worn gloves since he was three.
“I’ve basically played goalie my entire life,” said Broom who stopped playing soccer while he pursued football from grade 12.
“I feel like it’s going to be like riding a bike, that once I get back into it, it’ll be good again,” he said about donning the dusty goalie gloves.
Broom also plays as kicker for the Calgary Colts which takes priority over his Trojan goalkeeping if game schedules conflict, and Stevens fully supports Broom’s American football passion.
Hugi said his biggest challenges in goal have been communication and to position himself in the right spot.
“Although we’ve had tight games it’s not a true reflection of his goalkeeping capacity,” said Stevens about Hugi. “He’s done well.”
The soccer Trojans are away for the last time this weekend as they play against the Lethbridge Kodiaks on Sept. 29. The men are sitting comfortably in first place in the South Division in the ACAC standings having won their first four games. The women sit in third place with two wins, one tie and one loss.