BIBLE HILL, N.S. – Baillie Lynds always knew her first step into life after high school would be onto the Dalhousie Agricultural Campus.
That dream will become reality this fall for the 17-year-old North River resident after she recently announced her commitment to the school and its women’s soccer program for the 2019-20 school year.
“I am extremely excited to commit to Dal AC,” Lynds, who will be pursuing a bachelor of science degree, said. “It’s always been my first choice for post-secondary education.”
The move was a no-brainer for Lynds, who is set to graduate from Cobequid Educational Centre in the spring. Aside from the campus being close to home, Lynds was also attracted to the school’s small-campus atmosphere with all the benefits of a large university. Lynds had become familiar with Dalhousie AC the over the past several years by attending public events there as well as women’s soccer matches.
“It captured my interest,” she said. “Dal AC offers strong science programs and it gives me the opportunity to continue to play soccer.”
Lynds joins a women’s soccer program that had a rough 2018 season in the Atlantic Collegiate Athletic Association (ACAA). The Rams finished joint-bottom of the seven-team conference with the Crandall Chargers with a 1-11 record while surrendering a league-high 49 goals in 12 matches. It was a season of transition for the Rams after going all the way to the national championship tournament in 2017 and finishing atop the conference standings at 8-1-3 (W-L-T).
Nonetheless, the centre back is looking forward to trying to return the Rams back to contending status and further her skills at the college level.
“I’m looking forward to playing in the ACAA,” she said. “I’m very determined to give my best effort every time I step on the field to support the goals of my team.”
Lynds patrolled the pitch with the Cobequid Cougars varsity high school side this fall and also has experience at the club level with the CC Riders and XFC programs. Currently she is playing senior women’s winter soccer in New Glasgow.
Rams coach Jackie Ryan is excited to add a player of Lynds experience to the fold.
“She’s an elite player who will join our program and be a difference-maker right away,” she said. “She brings a lot of skill, experience and leadership, not to mention a great character that will be an amazing addition to our program.”
Lynds has been playing soccer since she was four years old. That experience, and her position at the back, has allowed her to be able to anticipate the play and convert that to her teammates up the pitch.
“I enjoy playing defence,” she said. “It allows me to see the field and read and communicate the play to my teammates.”
Baillie will continue the family tradition at the Dal AC. Her mother, Jean, played for the NSAC Rams and was a Nova Scotia College Conference MVP, while her brother Jack has just completed two years for the soccer Rams, before moving to continue his engineering degree at Dalhousie in Halifax this fall.