Interview with Cougars soccer players
Hear how De Amaral and Rhinehart practice, prep, and play now that the season’s on
As the fall term is slowly crawling into action, fall sports are coming back into action as well! A main sport to look forward to watching this season is the female Cougar Soccer Team. This year, the team is welcoming 18 rookies, and they are looking forward to showing up for this season strong and ready! Here for you this week, we interviewed two new players, Delaney Rhinehart and Cassandra De Amaral, to get you pumped about this upcoming season and to help you get to know the players you’ll be watching from the edge of your seat.
Where were you born? How long have you been playing soccer for? What are you studying this upcoming school year?
De Amaral is 19. She was born in Vancouver, has been playing soccer for 12 years now, and is a goalkeeper. She will be continuing her studies this term with the Faculty of Arts studying Psychology.
Rhinehart is 18 and she was born in Lloydminster, Alberta. She has been playing soccer for seven years now, and is enrolled in the Faculty of arts studying Police Studies
Where did you get your experience and or training?
De Amaral got most of her experience in Fusion FC. This is a high-performance organization and was created to compete in the highest level of soccer in Canada. She then moved to TSS – now called “Total Soccer.” This academy has become the most established and successful youth sport academy in the province.
Rhinehart started off her training in Lloydminster with the Meridian Soccer Program and did a lot of training with the boys’ team because there was no team for girls. Through the time Delaney spent training at this program, she felt playing with an all-male team really pushed her out of her comfort zone. “It helped shape me to who I am today. It has helped me to become an aggressive player.” This is because she got the enjoyment and the competitiveness of playing against boys that were five to seven inches taller than she was. Moving forward, she attended Lake Land college, then moved to Saskatoon where she started to train with the Regional Excel Program (REC SK).
What does a Cougars soccer team training week look like during the season?
They start off their week with a specific goal or task to really focus on that week, and get a new goal each week through the season. During the week they train twice a day: once in the morning and once in the evening. They also complete strength training and conditioning sessions throughout the week, and training session groups sometime broken up into the players positions: defense, mid-field, forward, or goalies. This gives the team an opportunity to work on specific strengths and weakness so they can improve their strategy and performance the next game. They end the week looking back on the week’s specific goal and working through some fun end-of-the-week games to complete the overall goal.
What is your favourite part about your position?
De Amaral is a goalkeeper. Her favourite part is “Being the rock to everyone in the back”. Let’s say there is a shot on the net, but she makes the save: “Everyone can feel composed and get ready to get back in the mind(set) and in positions to play on with the game”.
Rhinehart plays fullback (defense position, part of protecting the net before it gets to the goalkeeper). Her favourite par of this position is the running! As she runs along the field this gives her the chance to work one-vs-one, getting slide tackles and action in the game.
What is your favourite part about playing soccer that has kept you committed all these years?
De Amaral loves playing for the team and the competitiveness of the game. She loves “putting it all out there together as a team and for the team!”
Rhinehart has stuck with her because of the game and feeling satisfied with the sport – as it helps provide comfort when stressed, fun when need, a family and playing the game in full in general.
What are you guys most looking forward to now that the season is back in person?
De Amaral said she is ready to compete again and ready to support and show up for the University of Regina.
Rhinehart is excited to play towards the opponents and get competitive again in the game. She is as well excited to see where the Cougars go this year as they have 18 rookies this year and are excited to show other teams what “Regina is coming at them with”.
How can University of Regina students get ready for this season and support you guys as a team?
Well, now we can have an audience at the games. So, they would love to see people come out and cheer the team on. Another thing to look forward to is our social media – we have Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, and we are having a media day to keep our news fresh for our followers to feel connected to the team.
What is your team doing to keep each other safe while Covid-19 is still active?
Everyone on the team is required to get vaccinated, and when they spend time together indoors (change rooms and training rooms) masks are worn and required. When the team practices and plays outside, they mostly try to keep a safe social distance, as well as keeping a radar and staying away from places that have had outbreaks. As they travel for games, they make sure they follow the requirements of the schools that they are going to to keep both them and their competitors safe.
The Women’s Cougar Soccer team is ready to show up for this season strong and ready. If you are as ready for this season as they are, their first game is on September 10. But get excited to come and watch their first home game on September 18 against Winnipeg! The season is fun, but it is fast! It works out by having four games in a division. This then leads to the quarter finals where the four winners will move onto the Canada West Final Four. With the last step at the Championship at the National Tournament! Let’s support the ladies hard this season and make them proud as an audience!