Dominic Davis | Staff Writer
Are you or someone you know a female interested in joining a sports team at Century? The womens soccer team at Century will need new players next season.
This season was not the strongest for the Wood Ducks. Their overall record was 1-12-1 (Win-Loss-Draw). The main reason for their struggles this season was due to having too few players on the team. Bret DeGayner, coach of the team, explains that they lost a lot of players at the start of the year. They continued to lose more players due to injuries, among other things. The team oftentimes played with fewer players than the other teams.
Nalima Mwassa is a nineteen-year-old from White Bear Lake on the womens soccer team. Her position is midfield and she is majoring in dentistry. She says one of her friends got her into playing the sport. Ever since then she has loved playing and wants to continue playing after transferring from Century. She explains that DeGayner is very good at teaching the game of soccer, so learning the sport is easier for her.
According to Mwassa, DeGayner is a good mentor, “He is encouraging, dedicated and very inspiring.” She likes that he makes one-on-one connections with his players and finds ways he can relate to them. Mwassa says, “On and off the field he treats us like his daughters.” DeGayner values determination and dedication in his players. Players that show effort on the field stand out to him; especially because there are so few players on the team. DeGayner states, “The fact that even though the odds were stacked against them, they still showed up and fought hard.”
Both Mwassa and DeGayner emphasize the lack of players on the team. Twelve players were on the roster, but with injuries they found themselves playing with less than eleven players on the field. That means they usually had no substitutes on the bench to give players rest. DeGayner stated, “When we played Anoka Ramsey in the regular season, who was ranked top 10 in the nation at the time, we were able to hold them to no goals for 30 minutes with less players on the field.” Mwassa also addresses the need for more midfield and forwards. These positions are usually the most frequently subbed off in soccer due to the amount of running.
Managing time is no issue. Mwassa says, “The schedule is pretty flexible; keeping in contact with the coach is important if something comes up. Practices are every day and most of the games are on weekends.” According to Mwassa, managing time is based on the individual’s schedule. She does work for her classes on days she does not have much going on. For away games, she uses time on the bus ride to work on assignments.
The values Mwassa is learning from her experience playing on the team are leadership and dedication. “These values build who you are as a soccer player and as a human being.” Her advice to new players is to enjoy the sport and meet new people. Mwassa says there are some international students on the team. This is something she enjoys because she learns a lot about different cultures by talking to them.
Her overall experience from playing on the team is a really good one. Anyone who enjoys playing sports or trying new things can have a lot of fun playing soccer for Century. There is a recruitment questionnaire on Century website’s “Athletics” page listed under the “Women’s Soccer” tab that needs to be filled out and submitted online. There are other required forms needed by all student athletes at Century College on the page as well.
Training will start around late July or early August. Contact DeGayner to learn more about the team. His contact information is on Century’s website on the same page previously stated. See you on the field next season!