Nelson Youth Soccer grads continue to shine on university circuit
Pretty soon roundball enthusiasts are going to call the University of Calgary, Nelson East.
The Dinos coaching staffs have locked up no less than four Nelson Youth Soccer recruits onto varsity teams, with three coming from the graduating class of 2012 — Andrea Stinson, Taylor Stewart and Mitch Melanson.
The other Nelson Youth Soccer grad, Luke Mori, is in his second season with the Dinos varsity men’s squad.
“Things are going pretty good school wise, but I’ve been out with a high ankle sprain,” said Dino a disappointed midfielder Andrea Stinson.
“I just got my air cast off so I don’t know when I’ll be back on the field. (I guess) it depends how rehab goes.”
Stinson’s rehab hasn’t gone that well.
The speedy midfielder missed trips to Prince George and Winnipeg.
The injury has only added to what has been a frustrating freshman campaign.
“We had a rough start to the season playing two of our toughest matches against UBC and Trinity Western,” the Kinesiology major explained.
“With such a young squad, our abilities were definitely tested.”
“This year has truly been a building year so I can’t wait to see what next year brings. My injury has definitely been bringing me down so I hope to recover before the end of the season.”
Calgary split a pair of games in Winnipeg to drop to 3-4-3 on the season.
The transition from rep soccer to university has been quite smooth for the two female stars from Nelson.
“It definitely helps having someone you know on the field,” Stinson said about her longtime teammate, Taylor Stewart.
“Not only do we work well together on the field, but it’s nice to have someone so close off the field as well.”
Playing university ball is a bit of a grind for student athletes.
Not only is there the commitment to fellow teammates and coaches, but also there is university profs that want their assignments handed in on time.
“The biggest transition is definitely the speed of the game and the amount of time you have with the ball,” Stinson said.
“Combining school with Dinos hasn’t been too difficult, but at times it’s hard to have a social life along with everything else.”
There are no playoffs for the Dino women. So the long grind comes to an end this weekend when Calgary hosts Regina and Saskatchewan.
For the men, the Dinos host Saskatchewan for a pair of home games before traveling to Edmonton to meet provincial rival, Alberta.
Calgary, 5-4-2 for second in the Prairie Division, has been on a roll, winning three straight.
A great finish should power the Dinos into the playoffs in November.
OVERTIME: There are two other NYS grads playing in Alberta. Defender Brittany Wheeler and midfield Morag Paterson are with the University of Lethbridge Pronghorns. Wheeler has fit right in to the Pronghorns starting every game for Lethbridge. Wheeler has one assist on the season with the point coming against former teammates Stinson and Stewart in a 3-2 loss to the Dinos. Wheeler, Paterson, Stewart and Stinson all played for the Kootenay Thunder regional team. . . .Stewart’s three older sisters all played university ball. Heather played at University of Victoria while Amy and Jillian were stars at Simon Fraser University.