The University of Winnipeg Wesmen men’s and women’s soccer teams are competing for the second year in the Manitoba Colleges Athletics Conference (MCAC), despite posting top records last season.
The Wesmen had expected to be bumped up into the Canadian Interuniversity Sport (CIS) league for the 2011-2012 season.
During the 2010-2011 season, both teams dominated the MCAC with 5-1 and 4-0 finishes.
However, the Wesmen needed all institutions in the CIS to vote yes, but one institution voted against the change.
Adam Bromley, captain of the men’s team, said all the soccer athletes are extremely frustrated with the decision.
“Disappointed – that’s the best way to put it,” he said. “I thought we should have been recognized well above the level that we’re playing at. We shouldn’t be in the league we’re in.”
Bromley believes the team is ready to compete at the CIS level. They travelled to Saskatchewan earlier this month where they took on CIS team the University of Saskatchewan Huskies. They lost 2-1 in the first game, and tied the second game with a goal apiece.
“Obviously that shows we are right to want to be playing at that level,” Bromley said.
After dominating in MCAC last year, Serafina Trunzo who plays for the women’s team feels the same way.
“I don’t understand why it was such a hassle for us to go in it this year,” she said. “But I guess we’ll just use it as another practice season to get ready for next year.”
Wesmen athletic director Doran Reid shares the frustration and disappointment with the athletes.
“I saw no reason why we couldn’t begin this year,” he said. “They just weren’t ready for us I guess.”
The soccer players say they are also frustrated with their current practice locations – outdoor practice fields at Valour Community Club and Tec Voc High School.
Reid said the teams are able to rent a different outdoor field for next season if they want to, but finding a location close to the university remains a problem.
The goal is to have practice locations close enough to the school so athletes can easily go between practice and classes.
Trunzo looks forward to when the teams secure a new practice location.
“It would be awesome if we could get a better facility for us to practice (in) – indoor and outdoor,” she said. “But for now, it’ll do.”
“It’s tough to train at a high level on such a poor surface,” Bromley added.
Bromley and Trunzo both look forward to when the university’s indoor field house is ready for them to practice in.
Reid, who is largely responsible for helping the Wesmen get the new facility, said it should be complete within two years.
Despite their frustrations, Trunzo and Bromley are both excited to be playing this season. The team has set goals for every practice and every game to make a statement for when they enter the CIS for the 2012-13 season, Bromley said.
Published in Volume 66, Number 5 of The Uniter (September 29, 2011)