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Mackayla Vos has played at club soccer nationals in Moncton, Alberta and British Columbia.
“It’s been awesome. I’ve got to travel a lot with soccer,” said the 17-year-old Hunter River native.
Her last nationals in youth soccer will be closer to home.
She is a member of the P.E.I. F.C. squad that will be the host team for the Canada Soccer Toyota National Championships Under-17 Cup being played at UPEI and the Terry Fox Sports Complex in Cornwall this week.
“It’s exciting because my family will actually be able to see it,” said the right-winger. “Also, we’ve never got to spend Thanksgiving here. It’s nice just to be home and have a lot more support.”
Helena Vos, no relation to Mackayla, is also looking forward to playing in front of the hometown crowd, including her friends and family.
“They can actually see (the tournament) in person, have signs and cheer. It’s just going to be incredible,” she said. “It would be awesome if a lot of people came out and supported the P.E.I. teams. . . We’d really appreciate that.”
The 17-year-old Charlottetown native said the squad has been preparing all year for this tournament. They have done well in the past at the nationals, where the competition level is ratcheted way up.
“It’s a lot higher than in P.E.I. that’s for sure,” said the Colonel Gray High School student. “In the summertime, we play in the Nova Scotia league to prepare ourselves for nationals and it really helps.”
Louisa McMurrer will also be playing in her fourth club nationals but said this one will be different because it is on their home turf.
“I love it. All my family can be around, especially for our last nationals,” said the 17-year-old centre back from Bonshaw.
And while more support might mean more pressure, McMurrer and her teammates said they welcome it.
“When we’re home, we’re going to have so many more eyes on (us),” McMurrer said. But “you feel a lot more spirited going back on the field because P.E.I. is such a small place, but we show up with such big crowds.”
The players are from across the province. While there were initially some shy groups, a few teammates helped to quickly bridge the gap and they have become a tight-knit team.
“We’re all like family,” McMurrer said. “We all really clicked very well.”
Mackayla Vos is in her final year at Bluefield High School. In the past, the players have missed about a week of school to travel and play in the tournament. With a professional development day slated for this week, she said she was only going to miss one afternoon of classes.
“It’s not as stressful this year, especially for my Grade 12 year,” she said.
The boys’ tournament is also taking place alongside the girls’ tournament. P.E.I. F.C. is off on opening day. More on them tomorrow.
A look at P.E.I. F.C.’s roster and schedule for this week’s the Canada Soccer Toyota National Championships Under-17 Cup in Charlottetown and Cornwall.
Lauren Clark Summerside United
Elly Dobson Summerside United
Carrie Docherty Eastern Eagles
Cassie Gallant Summerside United
Reese Kelly Winsloe-Charlottetown
Grace Killorn Winsloe-Charlottetown
Megan Kinch West Prince
Emma Langley Central Queens
Heidi Laurwerijssen Kensington and Area
Neleah Lavoie Central Queens
Emily MacInnis Winsloe-Charlottetown
Emma MacIntyre Winsloe-Charlottetown
Mia Martell Eastern Eagles
Louisa McMurrer Eliot River
Maddie Thompson Eliot River
Helena Vos Winsloe-Charlottetown
Mackayla Vos Central Queens
Head coach – Graeme McDonald.
Assistant coach – Darby Myers.
Manager – Sherrie Langley.
A look at P.E.I. F.C.’s schedule for the Canada Soccer Toyota National Championships Under-17 Cup.
Ottawa vs. P.E.I. F.C., 5:30 p.m., at UPEI.
Halifax County vs. P.E.I. F.C., 4:15 p.m. at Terry Fox Sports Complex in Cornwall.
Moncton Codiac vs. P.E.I. F.C., 4:15 p.m. at UPEI.
St. John’s vs. P.E.I. F.C., 3:45 p.m. at Terry Fox Sports Complex.
Calgary Foothills (Alta.) F.C. vs. F.C. Northwest Winnipeg (Man.), 9:30 a.m.
Lakeshore S.C. (Que.) vs. Surrey United S.C. (B.C.), 12:15 p.m.
Halifax County United S.C. (N.S.) vs. St. John’s S.C. (N.L.), 2:30 p.m.
Ottawa TFC Academy (Ont.) vs. P.E.I. F.C. (P.E.I.), 5:30 p.m.
At Terry Fox Sports Centre in Cornwall
Calgary Foothills (Alta.) F.C. vs. St. John’s (N.L.) S.C., 9:30 a.m.
C.S. St-Laurent (Que.) vs. Halifax City S.C. (N.S.), 11:45 a.m.
Mountain United F.C. (B.C.) vs. Winnipeg Bonivital S.C. (Man.), 2 p.m.
Woodbridge S.C. (Ont.) vs. F.C. Regina Bluestars (Sask.), 4:15 p.m.
* P.E.I. F.C.’s boys team has an off day today. They open on Thursday. A story on them will be in tomorrow’s edition.