Coach of the Women’s Renegades major soccer team, Paul Merigeau, used four words to initially describe the team’s first home game of the season on Sunday – “It was hot out.”
The scorching UV rays from the 27C weather left the 18 girls on the roster happy they had a multitude of water as they took on one of the best teams in their league, the Victoria Soccer Club out of northwestern Edmonton.
The Renegades battled both halves of the game but were left defeated in a 4-0 shut out at the end of the clock.
“They scored late in the first half for the first time and really ground us down in the second half,” explained Merigeau. “But they are a really good team – their top player, Heather Lund, is the top scorer in the league and she scored two of their goals and set up the other two.”
Merigeau said although his team, which he’s been coaching since 2004 with a five-year break, didn’t win the game he was thrilled with how the young team performed.
“The girls played well and we did score a goal but unfortunately it was called back for offside,” he explained. “I’m quite happy with how the season is going and excited to see how the team comes together.”
It hasn’t always been easy for Merigeau to field a team but the dedicated coach spent the winter recruiting players and feels he is ready to help the team reach their full potential.
While teams such as Calgary and Edmonton have a million or more people to choose from with their surrounding cities, the Renegades are often comprised of a large breadth of players from Central Alberta including players from Stettler, Innisfail, Lacombe, Blackfalds and Olds with players also driving from Edmonton and Calgary to play for the Renegades.
“I don’t know of any other teams in our league who have girls travelling as far as ours do to play.”
This is the first year the Renegades Soccer Club has been amalgamated with the Red Deer City Soccer Association and Merigeau said he is happy with the joining of forces and believes it will mean the club will be better supported financially.