Season Preview: Pandas aim to repeat as Canada West champs

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Sept, 4, 2014 (INS) – Season Preview (WSoc): Pandas aim to repeat as Canada West champs
Spartans and Vikes to battle it out in the Pacific


New Westminster, BC – All eyes are on Canada West this weekend when
women’s soccer kicks off on Friday, September
5, as the
University of Alberta Pandas and the Trinity Western University Spartans
attempt to defend their Canada West and CIS championships, respectively.

The Spartans will try to fend off the Victoria Vikes and the UBC
Thunderbirds in the stacked Pacific Division, while the Calgary Dinos and
the Saskatchewan Huskies aim to unseat the Pandas in the Prairies.

The Spartans, Vikes and Thunderbirds were voted as the top three teams in
the preseason coaches’
poll
announced earlier.

Here is a closer look at the 16 teams battling for the Canada West crown.

PACIFIC DIVISION

UBC Thunderbirds

CW Preseason Coaches’ Poll Ranking: 3rd overall, 3rd in Pacific

2013-14 CW Tournament Placing: 4th

2013-14 CIS Tournament Placing: N/A

2013-14 Conference Record: 8-1-3

Last CW Title: 2007

Last CIS Title: 2006

Key returnees: Jasmin Dhanda, Aman Shergill, Emily Wilson, Tamara
Roughead, Taylor Shannik, Nicole Sydor

Key additions: Reetu Johal, Nadia Langenberg, Elizabeth Swoboda, Amrit Berar

Key departures: Janine Frazao, Rachael Sawer, Taryn Lim, Christina
Donnelly, Jordan Kitagawa, Alyssa Williamson

VANCOUVER – Head coach Andrea Neil returns for her second season at the
helm of the UBC Thunderbirds women’s soccer program, looking to build on a
successful rookie campaign and bring the team to the national
championships for the first time since 2010.
UBC lost just once in 12 regular season matches (8-1-3) in 2013 and
eventually finished fourth at the Canada West championship tournament.

The ‘Birds surrendered a league-low five goals last season and this year’s
defence will be anchored by Aman Shergill, a Second Team Canada West
All-Star and the only UBC player to start all 12 regular season games in
2013. Emily Wilson takes over as the squad’s No. 1 goalkeeper.

Fourth-year player Taylor Shannik returns as the team’s most experienced
midfielder. She’s joined by third-year teammates Kym van Duynhoven and
Madison Guy, the third and fourth-leading scorers for UBC last year.
Another solid presence in the midfield is third-year player Tamara
Roughead. They’re joined by talented newcomer Reetu Johal, one of 10 new
recruits brought in by Neil.

Up front, the returning forwards include reigning Canada West Rookie of
the Year Jasmin Dhanda, who led the team with six goals in 2013, captain
Shayla Chorney and Nicole Sydor. Janna Speed will also see time as a
forward while new T-Birds include college transfer Amrit Berar and Emma
Leese.

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