First-year Striker Joined Team After Season Started
By Nik Kowalski
Jessica Da Silva went into Red River College this fall not expecting to play the sport she’s played for over a decade. That mindset changed once she ran into an old soccer teammate.
Second-year player Ashley Paterson put on her recruiting hat in the college’s hallways and tried to convince Da Silva to join the Rebels soccer team.
Now with the regular season nearing its end, the first-year Rebels women’s soccer player has been pivotal in the team’s success. RRC’s 5-1-1 record is good enough for second in the MCAC, trailing the top-ranked USB Les Rouges.
At first, Da Silva felt she didn’t have enough time for both school and soccer but decided to take up Paterson’s offer.
In five matches Da Silva has scored two goals, both coming in crucial wins.
Da Silva said she’s back to enjoying soccer, a sport she started playing at six years old.
“Soccer was something that was always an interest in my family,” said Da Silva, 19. “For me it became a major hobby, once I started, I never stopped. That’s why I’m playing for the Rebels.”
Head coach Douglas Lawrie said he is delighted to have Da Silva on his team.
“Jessica has played very well for us this season,” said Lawrie. “She was one of our late additions after Week one and added some much needed depth to our roster at that time.”
Da Silva has split most of her season at the striker or right-wing position.
“As a striker I like to be able to get the ball crossed over their defence and to run on it to try and score,” said Da Silva. “You can always score off of the wings too, so I’m fine being put there.”
Da Silva’s in her first of two years in the business administration program at RRC.
“I still don’t really have much free time,” said Da Silva. “If I’m finished classes, I’m either at work or making sure that I’m getting all my stuff done that I need to for school… it’s basically all about scheduling what you need to get done.”
On the field, Da Silva’s planning on scheduling a playoff match with the first-place Les Rouges.
“We have a pretty good chance of making it to the championship if we keep up our game,” said Da Silva. “It’s good competition against USB, their fitness level is really strong and they’re able to move the ball around really quickly. They’re our biggest competition right now.”
Once the season’s finished, Da Silva will soon have to pick her schooling major, a decision she says is coming down to either accounting or administration.
She’ll have to again balance it with soccer, since Da Silva is planning to return to the Rebels women’s soccer team in 2020.