The Algoma Thunderbirds soccer teams return to the pitch this weekend, kicking off their 2016-17 regular season with a pair of home games at the Superior Heights field. The Thunderbirds take on rival red and white team, the York Lions.
The men’s squad will be in the tough as they take to the pitch against the reigning two-time CIS Champions and three-time defending OUA Champions. Competition for the women is equally hard. The women Lions posted an impressive 15-0-1 record in 2015-16.
Men’s Head Coach Neil Ovey, in his fifth season with the Thunderbirds, will rely on veteran goalkeeper and 2016 MVP Nicholas Palazzi to stop the fast break of the Lions. Last season, Palazzi finished second in the OUA for most saves, stopping 102 attacks on net. In his first season with the Thunderbirds, he finished in first with 114. Ovey is also looking to his six new recruits to carry the team past regular season play. Rookies include Andrew Johnstone (Barrie, ON), Ryan Marchan (Barrie, ON), Victor de Oliveira (Brazil), Aleksandar Iskic (Vancouver, BC), Brandon Bangambee (Coquitlam, BC), and Riley Thompson (Listowel, Ontario).
On the women’s side, the veteran Algoma bench is joined by six newcomers. Rookies include Alexis Trigiani-Kirkwood (Mississauga, ON), Arianna Adams (Ajax, ON), Danielle Bernardo (Sault Ste. Marie, ON), Bailie Malmloff (Sault Ste. Marie, ON), Hannah Marsch (Sault Ste. Marie, ON), and Ciara Spina (Sault Ste. Marie, ON). Last season two Algoma keepers rounded out the OUA top 10 for most saves. Enya Farrelly was third with 102, followed by Lauren Moore with 68 in ninth.
The Algoma men closed out 2015-16 with just one win over the Waterloo Warriors, and two ties to the Wilfrid Laurier Golden Hawks and Brock Badgers. The women continue their pursuit for their first OUA win.
Game times are 1:00pm (women) and 3:00pm (men) on Saturday and 12:00pm (women) and 2:00pm (men) on Sunday.
For more information on the Thunderbirds, including rosters and a complete schedule, please visit algomathunderbirds.ca.
About Algoma University
Algoma University was established in 1965 and is located in Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario. Algoma University is a small, undergraduate, teaching-focused university that places an emphasis on serving the needs of Northern Ontario. Algoma University offers a wide range of degrees spanning the liberal arts, sciences, and professional disciplines. As a partner with Shingwauk Kinoomaage Gamig, Algoma University has a special mission to cultivate cross-cultural learning between Aboriginal populations and other communities. Algoma University also offers satellite programming in Brampton and Timmins. For more information, please visit www.algomau.ca.