Saying ‘Bye’ to Hillside
Hillside Stadium will echo with Swan Songs this weekend as four members of the TRU WolfPack attempt to go out on a good note.
Ashley Piggot of the women’s squad and Conor Doherty, Adam Dodgson and Brynden Swint of the men’s team will be playing in front of a hometown crowd for the last time.
“It’s really sad,” said Piggot, who recently earned Pacific Western Athletic Association women’s soccer player of the week honours.
“I don’t know what comes next.”
The men’s and women’s squads host the Langara College Falcons on Saturday, Oct. 15, and the Quest Kermodes on Sunday, Oct. 16, at Hillside.
Kickoff for both men’s games is scheduled for 2 p.m., with the women’s tilts getting underway at noon.
The games mark the end of an era for all four graduating players, including Dodgson, a Kamloops product who said his time with the WolfPack has shaped his future.
“Soccer has been the thing that’s kept me going to school,” the defender said.
“Now, I want to do something with school because of soccer. It’s really made me who I am.”
Dodgson will graduate with an Arts degree in 2012 and Piggot has applied to attend medical school next year.
Piggot, a Prince George product, joined the Pack after two years playing with Grand Prairie Regional College.
Tom McManus, head coach of the TRU women, said the midfielder has developed into a leader and will be missed when she moves on.
“Ashley is one of the most calm, composed players that I have ever had the pleasure of working with,” McManus said.
“She is quiet and just goes out and does her job.”
Piggot, with three goals in seven games, is tied with Amanda Barrett for the team lead.
Doherty also has three goals in seven games, tying him with first-year forward Oriol Torres of Spain for most on the men’s team.
There will likely be a large cheering section for the graduating players this weekend, especially for the trio of graduating men’s players, as they are all Kamloops products.
In addition to playing the last five years with Doherty at TRU, Dodgson and Swint patrolled the pitch together at Valleyview secondary for five years.
Doherty was a St. Ann’s Crusader.
TRU’s men sit at the bottom of their group with a 2-3-2 record, while the women are third in their group with a 3-3-1 mark — two wins this weekend would be huge for both teams.
The four graduating players, given their squads’ situations in the standings, might not be focusing on personal milestones heading into this weekend, but that is bound to change as the final whistle approaches on Sunday.
“I’ve tried not to think about it,” Dodgson said.
“It’s exciting, but sad at the same time.”