Novak’s back

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The Cougars women’s soccer co-captain continues to improve her performance

Autumn McDowell
Sports Editor

After a successful season in 2010, co-captain Sarah Novak is having another productive year with the University of Regina women’s soccer team.

During her four-year stint with the Cougars, Novak has managed to steadily improve in nearly all aspects of the game. In 2010, the defenceman earned her first career point, which came in the form of an assist against the Lethbridge Pronghorns on Oct. 17. Novak also lead the team in minutes played with 1,207 and had more shots on net than in her past two seasons combined.

After all of this success, one has to wonder what keeps this business administration student coming back year after year. According to Novak, it’s her passion for the game.

“Well, I love playing soccer and our team has come a long way since my first year,” she said. “I want to continue on building the team that we have so far. It is also a pride and honor to play for my university.”

With her stats climbing personal charts in 2010, Novak set rather unique goals for herself this season.

“My goal coming into the season was to play every minute of every game. I got injured, so I couldn’t play the last two games [on Sept. 16-17]. So much for that.” Novak said. “I played almost every minute last season, so that was my goal for this season. But from now on, despite injuries, I want to start every game and then our team goal is to get eight wins.”

Novak is aware the team is going to have to work extremely hard and literally have a record-breaking season in order to get eight wins, but she believes that the team is ready for the challenge – all it needs is a few simple adjustments.

“We need to work on scoring. We can only defend so long. [Scoring] has always been our challenge” Novak said. “In a lot of our games, we only lose by one goal, so we are working on attacking as a team; that is one of our main goals right now.”

With great things on the horizon for not only Novak, but also the entire soccer squad, she noted it is a shame more fans do not show support for this team. Attendance has been a concern of numerous teams at the University of Regina and soccer is no exception.

“Obviously [the low attendance] is disappointing, because we do community events. We try to support other soccer teams in the city, so it is disappointing not to get the support from the community,” Novak said. “But it is getting better. This is the first year that we are charging admission, so it shows that we are actually getting more people out. I guess that is a good thing.”

Regina was in action Sept. 24-25, taking on the visiting Manitoba Bisons at U of R field. Regina dropped consecutive 0-2 decisions to the Bisons, which did not help its cause to win eight games this season.

The Cougars have posted a 0-5-1 record in their first six games of regular-season action this year, tying them for last in Canada West. The team has eight games left in order to reach its goal of winning eight games. Four of those games are to be played at home.

On Saturday, Regina is slated to face the Trinity Western Spartans (4-1-0) and are scheduled to meet the UBC Thunderbirds (3-1-1) on Sunday. Each game is scheduled to start at noon at the U of R field.

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