The St. Thomas Tommies returned to the playing field on Sept. 11, 2021. (Aaron Sousa/AQ)

Tommies soccer teams hit the field once again at their home opener on Sept. 12. With their seasons cut short at the Atlantic Collegiate Athletic Association (ACAA) championships back in 2019, both teams kicked off their seasons with a win. 

The women’s game began at 2:30 p.m., and the men’s game was at 4:30 p.m., both against Dalhousie University. For second-year student Emma Langille, this was her first year playing for St. Thomas University.

“I was so nervous, then [head coach Michelle DeCourcey] mentioned starting lineup and I was starting,” said Langille. “I was ready though, I was so excited to play.”

Langille said soccer has been a significant part of her life since childhood. During her younger years, Langille’s dad was her coach and in U-14, they made it to nationals.

She travelled to British Columbia for U-17, played on the varsity team all four years in high school and was her team’s captain in Grade 12.

This past summer, alongside DeCourcey, she played with the Picaroons Reds team and is now playing as a wing forward/striker for STU.

With an assist from Victoria Phillips, Emma Langille won the goal making the final score 1-0. (Aaron Sousa/AQ)

At the 38-minute mark, center-mid Victoria Phillips, nicknamed Ginny, shot. The goalie tapped it out of the net, but Langille was sprinting for the follow-through.

“I could picture my dad saying, ‘make sure to run it’ because my dad always said that for the follow-throughs, and that’s what it was.”

With an assist from Phillips, Langille won the goal making the final score 1-0.

Entering her sixth year as head coach, DeCourcey said they have a strong leadership core to guide the new players.

“It seems like it’s a rebuilding year across the league with so many incoming players,” she said. “It’s a big change from seasons before, we don’t really know what to expect from our opposition because they haven’t seen them for so long.”

DeCourcey has an extensive soccer background, from Fredericton district soccer association, N.B. elite teams, to four years of Division 1 National Collegiate Athletic Association at Fairleigh Dickinson University in New Jersey.

She said the team had set their goals for this season: leading the league, making playoffs and shutting down the opposition.

Shortly after, the men’s game began with high energy. But with the cancellation of their past season, their team only had five returning players.

Brett Springer, left, three goals for the men’s soccer team on Sept. 11, 2021. (Aaron Sousa/AQ)

Brett Springer, a third-year STU student, said he was nervous about the loss of numbers, but after tryouts, he felt confident.

“You don’t know who you’re going to get,” he said. “But everyone looked very strong and I just kind of knew that we were going to have a really solid team.”

Springer has played soccer his entire life, from playing for cities in Ontario, to being a striker for the STU team for two years. Springer was awarded Supplement King Athlete of the Week on Sept. 13, alongside Jessica McWilliams for the women’s team.

He said it felt good to be back on the field.

“Everyone got a good night’s sleep, was hydrated and we had a good warm-up prior to the game.”

Springer picked up where he left off during his rookie year and scored three goals. Ryan McKinnon scored one, with a result of 4-1.

“We got ready for game day, focused in, came out and got the result we wanted.”