CORNWALL – It’s a big weekend at home for the Holland Hurricanes’ soccer teams.
The Hurricanes host the Mount Saint Vincent University Mystics on Saturday, with the women’s game starting at 1 p.m., and the men kicking off at 3 p.m. Sunday, the UKC Blue Devils visit the Terry Fox Sports Complex in Cornwall. Start time for the women is 2 p.m., and the men’s contest is set for 4 p.m.
The Holland College women are 2-0-0 (won-lost-tied), and leading the Atlantic Collegiate Athletic Association (ACAA) standings after last weekend’s victories over the Dal AC Rams (10-0) and Crandall Chargers (1-0).
The Mystics come to town at 0-1-1. MSVU’s offence has struggled early in the season, only scoring twice in two games.
The Blue Devils have had a similar issue on offence as they are 0-1-1 after scoring just a single goal last weekend.
Both the Mystics and Blue Devils took on the UNBSJ Seawolves and St. Thomas Tommies in their opening matches.
Hurricanes’ third-year striker Nicole Fergusson understands the importance of this weekend as UKC and MSVU are typically two of the ACAA’s top soccer programs.
“This weekend is one of the biggest of the season,” Ferguson said. “Our communication on the field needs to improve as well as our ball movement.
“We worked on our shape and how to move the ball in our own end this week during training. We’re excited to get back on the field this weekend.”
Hurricanes head coach Kris McKinnon echoes the importance of these games.
“We had good results to start the season, and the players are focused in training on preparing for this weekend against MSVU and UKC,” said MacKinnon. “This weekend has always been a tough test, and we expect nothing less this year.”
On the men’s side, the Mystics (0-0-2) tied their first two games versus UNBSJ and St. Thomas.
Like the Hurricanes, the Blue Devils got off to a strong start last weekend, winning both games – 1-0 over St. Thomas and 2-1 vs. UNBSJ. They sit tied with Holland College for top spot. The Hurricanes are coming off back-to-back 5-0 wins over Dal AC and Crandall.
Jonah Wilton, a third-year player for Holland College from Vernon River, feels the best is yet to come for his team.
“Reflecting on last weekend, I feel that our team has come together and bonded fluidly,” said Wilton. “We have put out a strong showing in training and our season-opening games last weekend, and we are just getting started. Everyone’s excited to get to the field this weekend.”
Hurricanes head coach Jonathan Vos knows the importance of the annual home weekend where the Hurricanes host the Mystics and Blue Devils.
“This is always one of the most important weekends of our season,” he said. “MSVU and UKC historically have been two of the top teams in the ACAA.
“This will be an interesting weekend as we see how we match up. The play was strong last weekend, and we hope to continue it this weekend.”
Hurricanes striker Ehab Moustafa is focusing on taking things one game at a time.
“We were very successful last weekend, but it’s just two games in a long season,” said Moustafa. “We need to stay focused on what really matters, getting ourselves ready for playoffs.”