By: Aaraksh Siwakoti

Women’s soccer team head coach Dominic Oliveri thinks his squad has the pieces in place to make a run at nationals. The team finished in second place in provincials last year.

After dominating the regular season and getting a silver medal finish at the Ontario Colleges Athletic Association championship last year, the Thunder women’s soccer team is looking to keep the momentum going for the upcoming campaign.

With new head coach Dominic Oliveri at the helm, the team is looking to take strides in improving on their successful run from the previous year.

“The team has been extremely successful over the past few seasons, so we are not looking to overhaul the program,” said Oliveri. “The coaching staff and I have identified a few areas that we believe need some tweaking in order for us to have success this season.”

Head coach Oliveri also indicated that the majority of the players from last season would be returning to play for the Thunder this fall. The coaching staff has also been working extremely hard to recruit players to the Thunder program in order to fill positions left by some core players.

Players expected to return include their captain Kelly Avalos and midfielders Samantha Disipio and Madison Sleigh. With nationals on their minds, the players are looking to improve on strong teamwork.

“I am returning next year and some goals I have are to work together as a team, train harder, remain focused and make it to nationals,” said Disipio.

Thunder midfielder Avalos said that the team would need to connect in a positive way with the new coaching staff in order to have a successful season and achieve their team goal of making it to the provincials and nationals.

“The knowledge, experience and professionalism that has already been demonstrated to the players, through our coaching staff, has most definitely allowed the girls to adjust and be that much more motivated to succeed,” said Avalos.

“I have no doubt that our training sessions will be developed for our success in games.”

Even with many of the players returning, there is room for prospective students to make the team next season. Coach Oliveri has suggestions for students interested in trying out this fall.

“The best advice I can give future students looking to play for the women’s soccer team, is to come to training camp as fit as possible and to ensure that they have spent time working on their technique,” said Oliveri.

The entire team is focused on one thing for this fall season following their 7-0-1 regular season record and that’s to work hard and become national champions.

“We are working towards winning nationals for the upcoming year,” said Sleigh. “Along with off-season training and the help of our new coach Dominic Oliveri, I know we have what it takes.”