SYDNEY, N.S. — The old saying that everything happens for a reason can apply to the series of events that brought Marcus Campanile to Cape Breton.
The third-year midfielder with the Capers men's soccer team was a member of the men's soccer team at the Savannah College of Art and Design in Georgia in 2015. However, the native of Edinburgh, Scotland, was forced to the sidelines due to eligibility issues and things didn't pan out his first time overseas.
After deciding to remain on this side of the pond, he moved north to play for the K-W United FC in Kitchener, Ont., in the USL Premier Development League (PDL). It was there that Campanile caught the eye of a number of recruiters, mostly from the United States and one Canadian coach.
"I was speaking to quite a lot of coaches, probably about 15 people, and they were all in America," said Campanile. "There was one coach from Canada, which was Deano (Capers head coach Deano Morley). He just enticed me to come here. My gut told me from the beginning he was the right one."
To say the move to Cape Breton paid off is an understatement. Campanile was an Atlantic University Sport second-team all-star in his first season in 2016 and followed that up with a first-team selection last season. The Capers have won back-to-back AUS championships and earned the U Sports national title last year.
"Coming in the first year, I wasn't in the best of shape but still had a good year and enjoyed it. For me, it was a rebuilding year," he said. "Now, it's night and day. I feel sort of back to the way I should be. I'm ready to improve more and keep progressing and developing from here."
- Height: 6-0
- Weight: 173 lbs.
- Year: 3
- Hometown: Edinburgh, Scotland
- Position: Midfielder
This season, the starter has a pair of goals in six games, including one game-winner. He's helped the Capers to a 5-0-2 mark, tied atop the standings with the Dalhousie Tigers, who sport an identical record.
After last weekend's Thanksgiving break, the Capers are back in action this weekend at home against a pair of tough opponents, including a Tigers team that hasn't conceded a goal against this season.
CBU faces the sixth-place Saint Mary's Huskies (3-2-2) tonight at 7:15 p.m. and will take on the Tigers on Sunday at 3:15 p.m. at the Cape Breton Health Recreation Complex turf field.
"Six points is always what we expect…but it's definitely going to be a challenge," said Campanile. "SMU is well organized and they set up well and are hard to play against, hard to break down, so they'll throw us a few challenges.
"Dal has had a really good start to the year and hasn't conceded a goal, but we're confident at home. We've got goals all over the pitch, so that's definitely going to be a tough game, but we have lads that like a big challenge."
The unbeaten Capers women (6-0-1) are also tied atop the standings. They'll take on the seventh-place Huskies (2-4-1) at 5 p.m. tonight and face the third-place Tigers (5-2-0) Sunday at 1 p.m.