Soccer Hero: Acadia Hosts Women’s Soccer Championship

It isn’t very often that the CIS Women’s Soccer Championship makes its way to Wolfville. Acadia was host to the event in its second year of existence in 1989, and again in 2000. Now, sixteen years later, Acadia University was honoured with hosting the Championship once again on its 30th anniversary. The CIS Women’s Soccer Championship took place on November 10-13, which featured eight teams from conferences across Canada, including Acadia’s Axewomen, all gathered in one place to compete to become the national champions. Over the course of four days, eleven games were played to determine which team of the eight would be the last ones standing.

With four recently announced AUS Soccer All-Stars, the Axewomen fought hard and advanced to the consolation semi-finals where victory was taken in a shoot out against the StFX X-Women, securing a spot in the consolation finals where Acadia defeated Saskatchewan in another shoot out. The cheers from the crowd during the four-day event proves just how proud our community is of the Acadia Axewomen soccer team. While the games were certainly a highlight this fall study break, we were also reminded that the greatest honours often happen off the field. The 2016 Championship has recognized Laura Sanders, former Axewomen soccer coach, as Honorary Chairperson.

Sanders came to Acadia in 1984 to coach soccer which had not seen varsity results yet. However, during the 80’s and 90’s, the Axewomen soccer team saw great success winning six conference titles and even claiming the national title in 1990. Due to this high success rate, coach Laura Sanders has been awarded the AUAA (now AUS) coach-of-the-year six times, and holds a CIAU (now U Sports) coach-of-the-year under her belt for the 1990 national championship win. Sanders retired from coaching for Acadia women’s soccer in 2001, but remains a fan favourite in the Acadia Sports Hall of Fame and goes down in history as coaching some of the best University soccer teams in Canada. For the 30th year anniversary of the CIS Women’s Soccer Championship, there is no one better to be Honorary Chairperson than our own Laura Sanders.

Laura Sanders has consistently proved to Axemen and Axewomen that the glory of a team is more than just how the game is played on the field. She exemplifies dedication, determination, teamwork, and knows exactly how to overcome adversity. These qualities are what makes the history of Acadia athletes so tremendous, no matter the number of wins, losses, or titles.  Sanders demonstrates all that Acadia strives to be, and we are proud to congratulate her on being Honorary Chairperson for the 2016 CIS Women’s Soccer Championship.

Hayley Phoenix, Sports & Wellness Editor

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