Many thought this was going to be a long season for the Saskatchewan Huskies women’s soccer team as they looked to be strong candidates to claim the school’s first conference title and a national title.
But following the coronavirus pandemic, this year’s season was cancelled and it hit the team hard.
“I remember that day when the season got cancelled, I think Maya (Gabruch) drove to my house and we both got out of the vehicle, just gave each other a big hug, because there is so much that’s unknown,” said Huskies fifth-year player Kalli Cowles.
“I think it really shows how important sport is to our lives and beyond the physical piece, the mental piece, and the togetherness,” said Huskies head coach, Jerson Barandica-Hamilton.
For five players on the team, this would have been their fifth and final season. Those players got together and decided they wanted to all come back and take a shot at making school history.
“Well for me I knew right away that I was going to come back. I think especially not knowing that you are going to put the jersey on for the last time. But yeah we definitely talked the day the season got cancelled too. We had some tears,” Cowles said.
“We were nervous about it,” added fifth-year player Hannah Zdunich-Costa. “But we all did talk about it and all of us wanted to come back and play out our last year, so it was pretty unanimous, not really any doubts about that.”
There may be no games, conference titles, or national championships on the line this year, but these players are happy to be back together, on the pitch, as they battle their way through the pandemic.
“To interact with each other, to see each other and not go through zoom and to have the ability to just grow together, you can’t put that into words, and just that feeling,” Barandica-Hamilton said.
“Some people might be like, you are not training towards anything, we are training towards next year which is exciting,” added Zdunich-Costa. “And just the routine of training and getting better is really helpful, just to keep us in that routine and help our mental health.”
The Huskies women’s team is still hoping that they can play some exhibition games this fall or next spring.