Published on August 07, 2013
Emily Nickerson (left), Coldbrook, and Jessica Shaffelburg, Port Williams, are playing with Team Nova Scotia at the Canada Games in Sherbrooke, Que. Submitted
Published on August 06, 2013
Coldbrook's Emily Nickerson, 18, heads the ball during play against Manitoba Aug. 6 at the Canada Games.
Megan Mahon - Communications Nova Scotia
Published on August 05, 2013
Team Nova Scotia celebrates Axewomen recruit Katie Ross (centre) goal on a penalty kick in their 5-1 win over Alberta Aug. 5 at the Canada Games.
Megan Mahon - Communications Nova Scotia
By Jennifer Hoegg
After Wednesday’s tough 2-0 loss to Quebec in the semi-final round, Coldbrook’s Emily Nickerson said she was tired, but proud.
“Very exhausted mentally and physically, but very proud of what we did,” the co-captain said. “I think we held them off pretty well.”
Nickerson said Nova Scotia may be a small province, but the team is competitive in the women's soccer tournament and has a “great shot” at a bronze medal in the Thursday game against Ontario.
“We have a lot of heart and have worked so hard to this point,” the 18-year-old said, adding the players are ready to show “all of the provinces that have underestimated us to this point that Nova Scotia can compete with all these awesome provinces (that have) such a big pool to choose from.”
Nova Scotia last won a medal at the Canada Games in women’s soccer in 1993. Current head coach, Cindy Tye, was part of the squad.
“She told us our group of girls remind us of the group of girls she played with,” Nickerson said. “A lot of heart; hard working; a tight knit group.”
Now the aim is to focus on the medal game, she said.
“Victories and losses - you have to deal with those ups and downs. Level yourself out and keep your head straight to compete.
Teammate Jessica Shaffelburg said Wednesday’s result wasn’t what the players wanted, but it “was a great team effort," she said.
“I’m upset about the loss, but our team has worked so hard together and so well it’s hard to be upset over our performance,” she said.
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The 17-year-old Port Williams resident said she’s comparing the setup to that of Team Canada at the 2012 Olympics - losing in the semi-finals and going on to win bronze.
“It’s easy to get hyped up,” she said. “The atmosphere is amazing (and) going for a medal.”
Shaffelburg, an attacking midfielder, had a goal in Nova Scotia’s 5-1 victory over Alberta in preliminary play.
“It felt so good. I looked up and saw the keeper out of her position and it went in. it felt so good to have a goal at the Canada Games.”
Both young women say the Canada Games experience has been “amazing.”
“I can’t even believe I made it this far,” Nickerson said. “Everything is so intense, but at the same time, it’s so unbelievably amazing."
Nickerson, a Central Kings graduate who will play for the Acadia Axewomen this fall, was chosen as Nova Scotia’s flagbearer for the opening ceremonies.
“It was such a great honour. I was so happy,” she said.
“It was so surreal. I was so nervous, but I was so proud carrying that flag for my province and having all those athletes behind me.”
“It’s the best experience of my life,” Shaffelburg said, of the week competing, cheering on friends and meeting new ones and pintrading.
“The atmosphere, the people are so nice, being able to play soccer every day, being with my best friends, I don’t even want to leave.”
“I encourage people who have this (Canada Games) as their goal to work at it, because it’s totally worth it,” added Shaffelburg, who is a Horton High student. “It has been my goal to be here and be on the starting line up and that has happened.
“It has been sweet.”
Shaffelburg’s mother, Linda, is along as team manager.
“It’s nice to have her here and her support,” Jessica said.
I encourage people who have this (Canada Games) as their goal to work at it because it’s totally worth it. Jessica Shaffelburg
“They’re a phenomenal group of girls,” Linda Shaffelburg said.
Did you know?
The last time a Nova Scotia women’s soccer team won a medal at the Canada Games was in 1993. In the debut year of female soccer at the Games, Nova Scotia’s women won silver: the best ever result for the province in the sport at the games for men's or women's. Team Nova Scotia coach Cindy Tye was on the 1993 team.
Team Nova Scotia won men’s bronze in 1993 and 2001.
At a glance
Nova Scotia 17, Yukon 0
Goals: Sope Akindoju (4), Chloe Brennan (4), Katherine Bearne (2), Racheal Burton, Elis Brennan, Adelle Goodfellow, Gemma Leblanc, Emily Nickerson.
Nova Scotia 5, Alberta 1
Goals:NS – Joelle D’Entremont (2), Racheal Burton, Katie Ross (Axewomen recruit), Jessica Shaffelburg. Alta – Nicole Lindsay
Nova Scotia 1, Manitoba 0
Goal: April Trowbridge
Quebec 2, Nova Scotia 0
Goals: Valerie Sanderson, Bianca St.-Georges
Nova Scotia vs Ontario
Bronze medal game
5 p.m. ADT