Published on October 15, 2013
Kelsie said she has learned a lot about the art of goaltending through watching English Premiership games on TV. She is also looking forward to Christmas break, when she will be helping out with the Indoor Shriner Minor Soccer program.
Courtesy of www.vreds.ca
Published on October 15, 2013
Kelsie Hope (front, centre) is making a name for herself as a top goalkeeper with the UNB Varsity Reds Women’s Soccer team. She played back-up goaltender just one year ago.
Labrador soccer star shines as UNB goalkeeper
Special to The Labradorian
If there were a medal given for sheer determination and hard work, Happy Valley-Goose Bay’s Kelsie Hope would no doubt be in the running.
The second-year University of New Brunswick student has progressed in leaps and bounds in her university soccer career, and as of last week, moved up the ranks from a back-up goalkeeper with the UNB Varsity Reds Women’s Soccer team just a year ago, to the top goaltender position this season.
Thanks to her high save percentage, many people following her soccer play say she is keeping her UNB team in the chase for the AUS soccer playoffs.
Kelsie was also recently named UNB Varsity Reds and Domino’s Pizza female Athlete of the Week.
“Kelsie has taken over the number one keeper job and provided us with steady (play) so far this season,” commented head coach Jonathan Crossland on www.vreds.ca.
“All our games are tight, and Kelsie has given us the saves to allow our team to be confident, pushing for a result.”
The start of soccer
Kelsie’s Mom and Dad — Nelson and Corina — decided when Kelsie was five that their daughter would benefit from the excitement and fun competition that comes with participation in the Indoor Shriners Minor Soccer Program. Along with many hundreds of young soccer players, she attempted to play all positions, won and lost games and learned how to get along with other eager soccer enthusiasts.
In 2005, Kelsie tried out for the Happy Valley-Goose Bay U12 All-Star team as a defender, but did not make the squad. The following year, it was suggested to her that she try the position of goal keeper as very few kids enjoy the role of, ‘shot stopper’.
Trevor Paine, NLSA Technical staff member, said “It requires a very special talent….you need to be brave, courageous, skillful and unafraid to throw yourself at the feet of powering opposition forwards.”
Kelsie made the team and has never looked back. She has successfully competed at every all-star age group, was able to make the Mealy Mountain Collegiate high school team in Grade eight, stars for the Labrador Cup Northfield Ladies team and has held the keeper positions for both the 2008 and 2010 England Tour teams. In addition, she was scouted at the 2010 mega tournament and selected for the provincial U15 team. The following year, she successfully held goal keeper positions for both the Provincial U15 and U16 All-Star teams.
“Kelsie has mostly taught herself the position of goal keeper,” said Corina. “She has spent countless hours at the field working on technique, passing with both feet, brushing off the cleat imprints on her arms and legs from diving at opposing players and just getting up, and battling on. The many scrapes, bumps and bruises have certainly been worth it.”
Kelsie also taught herself to better her techniques by watching the experts — from the players in the English Premiership.
“When I became a goal keeper, I needed to learn quickly and the best way to do that was to watch the sport on TV,” she said. “Then I was invited to provincial team try-outs and made the squad. I attended Atlantics and National competition and my dream after that was to make a varsity team. Following a great start to the campaign this year, I can honestly say I have accomplished that goal.”
Kelsie had never been coached as a goal keeper until her first year at UNB. The physically small — but mentally tough — net minder didn’t realize how much she needed to learn. But learn she did.
“We are on the road headed to Cape Breton next week and then on to Mount Allison. We need results this weekend as the standings are way too close for comfort!”
Kelsie noted her greatest influences throughout her young soccer years have been her soccer coaches, Hope Solo (Team USA GK), Erin McLeod (Team Canada GK) and Joe Hart (England GK). “Last, but not least, my family for supporting all my efforts through the years and continuing to be there for me.”
She added she is looking forward to coming home at Christmas and working with up and coming young goal keepers in the Goose Bay Minor Soccer Program.