It only took hours for the community to pitch in with support after a U of C women’s soccer team tradition went awry Monday.
After a stellar weekend performance, forward Kelsie MacDonald was awarded player of the game. That honour comes with the distinction of taking the teams game-worn jerseys home for a good washing, said U of C women’s soccer head coach, Troye Flannery.
That, and they get to take home a six-foot, 200-pound stuffed dinosaur named Ricky.
“It’s just a cultural piece. Hard work is rewarded with more hard work,” said Flannery.
The car – and the uniforms – vanished
The teams gear was washed and loaded into her car in a large University of Calgary bag for MacDonald to lug around. But when MacDonald went to leave for school Monday, the car – and the bag – were gone.
The red, 2004 Mazda 3, license BPD 7043, was lifted from her driveway in the southwest Calgary community of Oakridge.
There are 27 players on the team and 25 jerseys, with shorts, socks and a set of goalkeepers uniforms as well.
“I think she’s more concerned about the uniforms than she is about the car,” Flannery said.
One of the captains then called him, concerned because the team leaves tomorrow for national championships. They sealed it with a 1-0 win Nov. 2 against the University of British Columbia Thunderbirds, with MacDonald scoring the lone goal. That also captured the Canada West title for them.
That’s when he tweeted out the situation.
“The community here in Calgary, not just soccer, just in general has been unbelievable,” Flannery said.
Offers of help came from all over. It was overwhelming, Flannery said.
After the tweet caught fire on social media, Nike Canada’s distributor T.Litzen said they’d already done up replacements and were going to ship them to Victoria where they’d meet the team just in time for nationals.
“They said ‘no, we’ll sort this out.’ For them to do that, like overnight, is impressive,” Flannery said.
U of C women’s soccer has good chance heading into the national championships, said Flannery
Flannery said they have a tight-knit group and there despite the theft, there was a sense of calm. But there may be an opportunity to reinforce that to his squad going into the eight-team national tournament.
“Anybody that knows me even a little notice that I will attempt to use this as a rallying cry if needed for us,” he said.
The team will compete over the next week in Victoria with three teams from the Canada West Conference, two teams from Ontario, two from the Atlantic conference and one from Quebec.
The team should do well, Flannery said. . They went 27 games unbeaten until the University of Victoria ended that streak earlier this year.
They’ll play UVic to open the tournament Nov. 7 at 7:30 p.m. Mountain Time.
“It’s going to be very, very difficult and you know all the habits that you put into place all year come in to play now,” he said.