Friends and teammates, 18-year-olds Jenessa Moore and Kirsten Dodds will become opponents when the B.C. Colleges Athletic Association women’s soccer season opens in September.
“Our season starts Sept. 10 and the next day we play Kirsten and UBCO,” smiled Moore, a tough 5-foot-1 dynamic midfielder recruited by the Kwantlen Eagles in Surrey. “It’s going to be a lot of fun.”
Asked if they were putting a friendly wager on the match, Dodds smiled and said, “Not yet. I’m really looking forward to that game.”
The two soccer sponges, whose careers began in the youth Li’l Kickers programs, can’t get enough footy. They played together with the Pacific Coast League Premier Division Okanagan FC under Claire Paterson and found time to support youth soccer.
Their efforts earned them $500 scholarships through the George Stein Memorial Bursary. Stein, who died in 1996, helped found youth soccer in Vernon some 50 years ago. He and the late Fred Mann were key cogs in the construction of the MacDonald Park clubhouse.
“We’re always looking for young layers who contribute to the organization which helped bring them up,” said George’s son, Marty, a UBC Thunderbirds grad who due to injury retired from oldtimers a few years ago, but stays in the game as a referee.
Moore is a 5-foot-1 dynamo VSS Panther High Performance Program grad who needed just one prospects camp tryout last January at the coast to earn a scholarship package with the Eagles. Kwantlen has won the last two BCCAA women’s titles.
“I reffed and lined for a long time in youth soccer and I coached in Soccer Patch and a Vernon youth team last season,” said Moore. “I always feel it’s nice to give others knowledge I’ve learned, to teach them skills. It can be challenging at times, if they don’t listen, but it’s worth it in the end.”
Moore left Saturday to start a new chapter in her life. The Eagles’ training camp opens Tuesday.
Dodds and the Heat open camp Aug. 13 in Kelowna. She says the bursary will definitely “pay for books and stuff.”
A crafty 5-foot-5 striker with the last-place 0-11-2 Okanagan FC, Dodds took the rough season in stride. The Vancouver Thunderbirds won the league and Challenge Cup playoff titles.
“We lost every game,” she said. “We tied a few, but we had a fun team and we all improved.”
Dodds will be looking to fill the vacant striker spot that has opened up after the graduation of fourth-year Emma Nixon, and departure to Sweden of National Player of the Year Alexa Kennedy.
Her impressive soccer resume also includes playing for the B.C. U16 team; an invite to the CSA national training centre west camp in 2009; an invite to play with the German Club FSV Höhenrain U17 team in 2007 and being a finalist in the Valtellina Cup in Italy.
Moore will work towards a Bachelor of Arts degree, while Dodds, a Kalamalka grad, will study human kinetics.