Photo courtesy of Jojo Yanjiao Qian
With the women’s soccer season underway, the team is likely holding onto the memories of one of their most valuable team members. Recently, players, family members, and the McMaster community lost Joeseph John Valvasori, the previous head coach of the team. After fighting a long battle with cancer, Valvasori passed away this summer. He will be remembered by players and community members alike for his efforts on the field as well as for his ability to touch the hearts of the people around him.
Anthony Costa takes the field this year as the head coach for the team. As a McMaster alumnus and a decorated former student-athlete, Costa not only has an extensive amount of knowledge on coaching but also of the challenges student-athletes can face. Having learned under Valvasori, Costa seems primed to build off of Valvasori’s contributions to help lead the Marauders to an incredibly successful season.
The maroon and grey finished last year with a record of eight wins, three losses and five ties to make their best record since at least 2014, finishing with a season points total of 29. They used the momentum from their successful season to advance to the final four of the U sports championship, where they played the Cape Breton Capers.
Ultimately, they lost the bronze medal match and placed fourth overall at the tournament. Nonetheless, they made an incredible effort at the U sports championship and look set to improve on their achievements from last year.
They’ve largely kept together the same roster, which is promising for the team as senior players such as Stephanie Roberts and Hannah Chau-Stacey played a big role last year and will be returning. Roberts was named U sports second-team all Canadian last year, the first women’s soccer player in a decade to do so. Part of the reason she accomplished second-team all-Canadian was due to her leading the country in conference goals for the regular season, scoring 14 points in just 16 games.
Another key player, Chau-Stacey, played a big role in her team’s opening game against Windsor. She also notched one of two goals in the team’s win against Waterloo. For her accomplishments in these games, she was just awarded the Pita Pit athlete of the week. Going into her fourth year, Chau-Stacey provides a solid veteran presence and will definitely play a big role this year.
The women’s soccer team opened the 2019-2020 season ranked eighth overall in the nation, a ranking that they hope to outperform as they’ve started out the season with two wins and a loss.
One of those wins was also a blowout against the Windsor Lancers in their opening game. The Marauders scored four goals in the first half and one in the second to take the game five to one. Their only loss so far is against the perennially great York University Lions, against whom the Marauders played an away game in Toronto.
With all of this in mind, the women’s soccer team is poised to have a very deep playoff run as they build off of the accomplishments they achieved last year and hopefully take a shot at gold in the U sports championship.
The official 2018 Women’s Soccer Roster for the McMaster University Marauders