While the strength of Sudbury and area female soccer is surely helping the Women�s program at Cambrian College, it is the only Northern Ontario producer of top-end talent. Sault Ste Marie native Andrea Guzzo is one of a handful of Sooites looking to bring the Golden Shield soccer success at the collegiate ranks�
The eldest of two girls in the family, Guzzo recalls her heavy involvement in the sport that is near and dear to the heart of many in Sault Ste Marie. �I think I�ve played since I was in mini-soccer�as I kept playing, I learned more about the game. I don�t remember a time when I was ever not playing soccer�, she says.
By the time she reached the U-11 division, Guzzo had earned a spot on the Soo Civics competitive team, patrolling the field as a defender for her team. Ironically, it was in this, her second year with the Cambrian crew, that she first made the move to midfielder, a change that she admits she�s enjoyed to this point.
�When I go to practices now, it�s something totally different�, she notes. After taking to the pitch through her teenage and high-school years, it wasn�t an absolute given that Guzzo would pursue her love of the sport at a post-secondary level.
�Soccer seemed more as a fun thing to do, to keep me involved in sports and get a chance to meet people at the college�, she admits. Even at the secondary school level, Guzzo says soccer was not approached the same as when she took to the field with the Civics.
�I played with St Basil�s when the Sault first introduced a high-school league. I�ll never forget the first game � it was in the fall, it was freezing and we were all wearing hats and gloves�, she laughs.
In fact, the well-spoken 18 year-old Medical Radiation student points out that it was badminton that provided her with more success while at St Basil�s as she earned a trip to NOSSA, competing at Lasalle Secondary.
As for the elusive OCAA post-season berth that Guzzo and her teammates cherish, the Provincial Female Athlete of the Week from early September notes that it will be difficult with the turnover that occurs to the lineup each year.
�It would be nice to have a whole team back. We want to go out and play our best but it�s tough with usually only 6 or 7 players returning�but I want to keep my head up this year and not get discouraged,� she said. So far, so good it seems as Cambrian heads into the final week with a record of 2-2-2.