Jubilee rivals come together on Sea-Hawks

John
John Browne
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Memorial lineup features two senior league scoring stars

Only a few weeks ago, Maxine Morris and Laura Breen were trying to score against one another's teams in the Breen's Jubilee Trophy provincial women's soccer final.

But these days, Morris, who played for Holy Cross in the senior league, and Breen, who performed for rival EPR/Kirby, the 2008 Jubilee Trophy champion, are teammates with Memorial Sea-Hawks in the Atlantic Universities Sport (AUS) conference.

Memorial Sea-Hawks women's soccer coach Walt Mavin addresses his players during a practice session at King George V Park in St. John's on Tuesday. The Sea-Hawks sport a 2-0 record early in a 2008 season that could very well see them challenge for an Atlan

Only a few weeks ago, Maxine Morris and Laura Breen were trying to score against one another's teams in the Breen's Jubilee Trophy provincial women's soccer final.

But these days, Morris, who played for Holy Cross in the senior league, and Breen, who performed for rival EPR/Kirby, the 2008 Jubilee Trophy champion, are teammates with Memorial Sea-Hawks in the Atlantic Universities Sport (AUS) conference.

"The first time I met (the Kirby players) was last year with the MUN team," said Morris, a sophomore with the Lady Hawks.

"It's hard playing against them during the summer, but while we are rivals on the field we are friends off it."

Breen laughed when asked about playing with players she went up against this summer.

"We're leaving it on the field," she said. "You wouldn't know the difference between us if you came here."

Breen, a senior, missed all of last season because of an injury. That means this is her first-ever experience playing with Morris and she is impressed with the second-year Sea-Hawk.

"I love playing with Maxine," said Breen. "She's quick and uses her speed to advantage. We play a similar style of game."

Morris, who scored 12 goals in the Jubilee league this summer, and Breen, who scored 14 times, are providing an impressive one-two punch for the Sea-Hawks early. The Lady Hawks are 2-0 to start the season after sweeping the University of New Brunswick Varsity Reds last weekend in St. John's, with Breen and Morris each having each tallied twice.

Morris, who led MUN with eight goals as a rookie last season, said it took a couple of games for the team to come together last year.

"But this season, we put it together really well right away," she said. "We hit if off great, and getting to bond on the road this weekend will strengthen us even more."

Morris and Breen both agree MUN underachieved last season, but are determined to change that in 2008.

"We lost in the semifinals last year, which was very disappointing, but we had a great (regular) season and I think we'll take it further this year. We're stronger and more experienced, so we expect to go to the final," said Morris.

Breen said the playoff loss was "tough to take," and the team probably should have done better. She said this year's team is strong from the goalkeeping out and has balance on defence and offence throughout the roster.

Breen, who said she had a really hard time sitting in the bleachers and watching last season, is excited to get back with the Sea-Hawks and noticed a difference even in the first two games.

"We made lots of nice passes and had good transition in Sunday's game which was a big step ahead of the way we played Saturday."

Cape Breton, St. FX are MUN's next opponents

MUN coach Walt Mavin says his team faces a big test on the road this weekend, taking on defending Canadian interuniversity champions Cape Breton Capers Saturday and an experienced St. Francis Xavier team Sunday in four-point games.

"Five of our seven games on the road are four pointers," noted Mavin, who says his team has to get as many points as possible in these games to stay near the top of the standings. Given he teams MUN is playing this weekend, Mavin is looking at getting at least six out of eight points. "Of course, I'd love to come back with eight," he added.

Memorial beat Cape Breton 3-1 last season while falling 2-1 to St. FX.

Cape Breton defeated University of Prince Edward Island 1-0 in its 2008 season opener, while St. Francis blanked Saint Mary's 2-0 .

jbrowne@thetelegram

Organizations: Sea-Hawks, Atlantic Universities Sport, University of New Brunswick Varsity Reds University of Prince Edward Island

Geographic location: Cape Breton, St. John's, Saint Mary

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