Kirby Group United crushes Mount Pearl 5-1 as new season gets underway
They’ve turned over a lot of players in recent years, but the winning tradition continues for C.B.S. Holy Cross Kirby Group United.
The defending champions opened the 2014 Breen’s Jubilee Trophy women’s soccer season Thursday night at Smallwood Park with a 5-1 victory over Mount Pearl Electronic Centre Molson.
Last-season’s scoring champ Malorie Harris scored four times for the winners. Connie Lewis scored once. Emily Wiscombe replied for Mount Pearl.
Holy Cross coach Dragan Mirkovic, now in his third campaign with the club, terms this season another year of a rebuilding process.
There certainly have been changes with the league favourites in recent years.
“With the nine players who left after the last season we’ve reached a staggering number of 33 players who left since 2012,” noted Mirkovic.
What hasn’t changed is the team’s ability to win championships. They are going for their fifth straight this season.
Mirkovic said Holy Cross has 13 new, young players on the team this year and “I feel that this time we’re able to firmly take a first step in a completely new direction.”
Those new players are Jane Pope, Jessie Noseworthy, Julie Crocker, Claire Skanes, Alyssa Armstrong, Noelle Stanford, Laura Whelan and Spencer Wilkins from St. John’s, Anna AuCoin from C.B.S., Jana Gordon from Mount Pearl, Kristen Anstey from Burin and Jacquelyn Connors from Halifax.
“While these players come with a great deal of reputation earned at youth soccer ranks they will need time and competitions to toughen up and grow in stature,” said the Holy Cross coach.
“Having players around like Malorie, Laura Breen and Nicole Moores, seasoned by experience, will be extremely helpful to these young girls. Considering everything, I think the future looks much brighter for Kirby United team.”
Despite the team’s succes over the years, Mirkovic admits it hasn’t always been rosy.
“The first two years were definitely a Helter Skelter ride in the amusement park…minus the amusement,” he said.
“I hope this year it will change as the pool is very talented and can be fun to watch.”
As far as the opposition is concerned, the Holy Cross coach said Mount Pearl Senior and Mount Pearl U18 team will be “a very respectful opposition.”
Mirkovic said he hopes each one of his team’s games against those two clubs are highly competitive.
“There’s no fun in a dominance by any team and in the long term you will pay the consequences as our performances at the nationals clearly indicates,” he said.
“The Fieldians team poses another challenge for a coach as their combativeness and willingness to play hard for each ball forces you to work more on a mental level with your team which is a fantastic thing to have.”
Meanwhile, Mirkovic said people tend to undermine the level of competition because of small numbers of clubs in the league but he says he’s seen “a very significant signs of improvement on fitness and tactical levels and that should be respected.
“Let’s not forget,” he added, “there is no senior women’s league in New Brunswick or Prince Edward Island, but we are healthier than ever.
Play continues 8 p.m. Monday with Feildians taking on Mount Pearl Electronic Centre Molson at Smallwood Park in Mount Pearl.