Soccer became a dominant theme in our house in the mid 1980s when Dianne wanted to play soccer and persuaded Ron to start and coach a women’s team for her to play on. And that’s how I got the job of women’s team manager.
Set up as the South Ottawa Rovers by the South Ottawa Soccer Association, the team had a good first year in 1984, ending the season in second place in a five-team league competition. Rovers tallied 19 points behind Nepean Furies with 25 but ahead of South Ottawa Internationals and Glens Falcons, each with 16 and Aylmer with 12. Jackie Burbridge was captain. Sparked by fleet-footed Debbie Kerwin, who scored 15 goals in league games and six in others, the team’s 17 players had their special merits toasted in the manager’s irreverent end-of-the-season tribute:
Award and Honours that we wish we could present:-
1) Andrea Sinclair, the Mudpuppy Award for all that rolling in the mud and other tribulations of a soccer goalie;
2) Nancy McCall, the Rainbow Trophy for the most colourful bruises sustained in the line of full back duty, and a special Sportswomanship Award for playing Backup Goalie (with one shutout) and for putting up with Pat Carruthers’ jokes;
3) Jill Umbach, the Unintentional Backup Goalie Award, with a gift certificate for purchase of a pair of velchro goalie mitts for ball handling in the goal area;
4) Loretta Desoudry, the Prettiest Headband Prize, plus a Soccer Field Pathfinders Map of the National Capital Region;
5) Pat Hunt, the Windmill, Grunt and Bellow Award for excellence in scaring the wits out of opponents by unorthodox kicking, running and blocking the ball with the belly;
6) Lily Fayad, the Flying Foot Award for intercepting the ball in mid-air and directing it, usually, in the opponent’s direction;
7) Catherine Rancey, the Pushy-Pushy Enthusiasm Award, for the most aggressive defensive play when the referee is looking;
8) Sharri Walsh, the Muhammed Ali Challenge Cup, for the most aggressive forward, when the referee is not looking;
9) Joey Thayer, the Most Surprised Goal Scorer Award, plus a seasonal dispensation from attending classes on Soccer Nights;
10) Robin Kealey, the Most Honest Ball Handler Award, and recognition as the unchallenged champion in toe curling;
11) Dianne Wadden, the Corner Kick Triathlon Award, with the hoped that it won’t always be necessary to do all that swimming, cycling and running 15 kilometres before kicking the ball;
12) Brenda Agard, the Late Bloomers Scoring Trophy, for making her first in the team’s last game for the season, with a forecast of lots more in ’85.
13) Jackie Burbridge, the Golden Mouthpiece Award for Sportswomanship and for showing team mates how, in every way, to use their heads;
14) Cindy Mills, the Generosity Award for giving the ball to others to score, and the Runner-Up Award in the Late Bloomers Scoring Race – two in the final two games;
15) Alana McNamara, the Leaping Librarian Award for dexterity in bypassing opposing backs;
16) Debbie Kirwan, the Mercury Medal for the fastest feet on the football field, and the “You’ve Got Time” Award for leadership in Team Spirit both on and off the field;
17) Wendy Knight, the Whizzing Winger Award, for keeping up, almost, with Debbie, plus a gift certificate for a stainless steel ankle support complete with spurs to fend off attackers’ cleats;
In addition, a few other Awards are appropriate:
18) Toni Fitzpatrick, the Toni Award for First Aid to Ankle Sprainers, and a special Sportswomanship citation for playing in exhibition and tournament games when the team was shorthanded;
19) Pat Carruthers, the Linesman of the Year Award as the best (and only) team linesman;
20) Gwen (surname not remembered), the Welcome Aboard Award as the newest recruit to the S.O Rovers in its tournament at Williamstown.