BY SCOTT HUNTER HADDOW
When Karla Winters tried out for the Brock University women?s soccer team, she didn?t even think she would make the squad.
She performed well and, not only earned a job, but captured a starter position as striker.
?I didn?t think I would make the team because there were a lot of women trying out,? said Winters. ?I guess I made it by luck.?
Winters was born in Pine Point, Northwest Territories. Her father was working as geologist in the remote community at the time.
Soon after she was born, the family moved to Sudbury, where Winters grew up playing soccer in the Sudburnia league, and later, with the Sudbury Canadians under soccer guru Frank Malvaso.
Winters also played for the Sudbury Panhellenic soccer team.
Winters is a graduate of Lockerby Composite School.
While playing soccer in Sudbury, Winters also competed in track and field, figure skating and speed skating.
This fall Winters, 18, helped spark the Badgers to their best regular season in team history, as they finished first in the Ontario University Athletics (OUA) South Division with a 7-2-1 record.
Along the way, Winters blasted home four goals, including three game winners. All of her strikes were opening goals in the games.
Her clutch play and overall skill has left a big impression on head coach Ron Gourlay.
?Karla is a hard working, speedy player and she has good control and great composure on the ball,? said Gourlay. ?She works tirelessly. She?s good at stripping the ball from opponents and has a good eye for the goal.?
Winters is one of 12 rookies on the team that has transformed the Badgers into a team to fear in the OUA.
?She has helped us tremendously,? said Gourlay. ?Her work rate and fearless approach to the game have made her a striker that has to be watched by the opposition. She?s strong and fit. She plays through injury and will do whatever is asked of her.?
Even when she had made the team, Winters was still unsure of what kind of a role she would actually play.
?I didn?t expect to play because I was a rookie,? said Winters. ?When I actually played, I was surprised and
happy with my play. Being a starter has been a highlight for me?
The outstanding season has left Winters feeling fantastic.
?It pretty rewarding because there?s so many rookies on the team,? said Winters.
?It?s good to know we helped the team out this season.?
Winters is glad she contributes to the team and prides herself on being a beneficial voice to her teammates on the
?I have speed and I can be aggressive,? said Winters.
?I try to encourage people on the field by bing very vocal in a positive way.?
Winters decided to go to Brock University in St. Catharines to study business.
?I am in the business administration co-op program. I had heard it was a really good program,? said Winters.
?I visited the campus last year and it was really appealing to me.?
Leaving home and making waves in OUA soccer action has been a worthwhile experience for Winters.
?It?s been a really good experience for me,? said Winters. ?I?ve met all kinds of people and it?s been a lot of fun.?