Top News

Rams open new soccer season this weekend

Dal-AC Rams
Dal-AC Rams - Contributed

BIBLE HILL, N.S. – A little more patience may be required for the Dalhousie Rams men’s soccer program.

The Rams, coming off back-to-back winless seasons in the Atlantic Collegiate Athletic Association, return just five players from their 2018 squad, making the task of earning a playoff spot in the highly-competitive seven-team league even more difficult than in past years.

But with an eye to the future, the Rams look forward to the opportunity of developing athletes who can compete at the college level and become key pieces to a championship puzzle down the road.

“There’s a lot of space for new guys to step in and hopefully they are guys who are going to be here for two, three or four years, whatever it might be, and getting them the experience now and then hopefully build something moving forward,” said Rams coach Craig MacEachern.

But that’s not to say the Rams will roll over this season.

“We’re still pushing to be competitive and pushing to win every game, we’re not taking any games off by any means,” promised MacEachern.

The Rams open the new ACAA season on Saturday when they travel to Halifax to face the Kings Blue Devils. On Sunday, Dalhousie will play its home opener against the Mount Saint Vincent Mystics, beginning at 3 p.m.

The season was scheduled to begin last weekend, however, post-tropical storm Dorian cancelled those plans.

Returning players Adrian Bent, Deng Mabill, Bailey Fraser, Joel Abbey and Sam Sharp will be called upon to carry the load for the Rams this season and provide leadership to a young group of players.

“They’re invaluable to the team,” said MacEachern. “All five of them are going to be starters this year, as you can imagine. All of them played fairly significant minutes last year so they know what to expect going into the season.”

The Rams are thrilled with the addition of new keeper Calum MacLeod of Bible Hill, who enjoyed great success with the local CC Riders club program and CEC high school team. MacEachern said MacLeod is a promising player who has all the physical tools, adding he will see the lion’s share of action this season. 

Other newcomers include a pair of internationals students – centre-back Rein Bokkers of the Netherlands, and winger Austin Nelson of Colorado.

MacEachern said Bokker, at six-foot-seven, communicates well and will be relied on heavily to lead the backfield, while Nelson is a highly-skilled player with tons of pace.

“We’re looking for him to do big things, and he’s got a cannon for a left foot so hopefully he can crack a few goals for us this season.”

Other teams in the ACAA include the reigning champion Holland Hurricanes, St. Thomas Tommies, Crandall Chargers and UNBSJ Seawolves.

On the women’s side, the Rams visit Kings on Saturday, and host Mount Saint Vincent on Sunday at 1 p.m.

Recent Stories