Decade of Excellence

Decade of Excellence
You know you’ve made an impression when even the other team’s announcers are singing your praises.

Such was the case last weekend when the announcers at Huskies Stadium commented several times about the high standard of excellence set over the past decade by the Cape Breton University CAPERS women’s soccer team.

While stalwart soccer fans will always remember the CAPERS winning the university’s first CIS championship banner when they took home the CIS Women’s Soccer Championship title in 2007, what sets the CAPERS even further apart from their peers in the sustained excellence.

“When we started here we wanted to build a program that was going to consistently be among the best in Canada,” said head coach Ness Timmons, who has been guiding the CAPERS for the past 17 years. “Winning the CIS championship is always the ultimate goal each season, but knowing we have reached a point where people speak about us positively across the country is a sign we’ve been doing something right for a long time.”

Since 2002, there is little doubt the CAPERS have set the bar at a high level, being ranked in the CIS Top 10 each season.  Along with the CIS title in 2007, CBU women’s soccer has won six of the last 10 AUS championships, including four in a row from 2005-08.

And with team success comes individual accolades. Nationally in the past decade, players under the guidance of Timmons have won one CIS Player of the Year and 14 All-Canadian awards.

In conference, there have been three AUS Most Valuable Players, four AUS Rookie of the Year awards and 43 AUS All-Stars.

“You always work hard to recruit the right type of student-athlete – one who not only wants to take advantage of all the benefits CBU offers both on and off the field, but who also wants to represent us to the best of their ability at all times,” said Timmons, who has also been honoured as AUS Coach of the Year three times since 2002.

“Having the right type of players has helped us build this program and having that type of recognition helps us recruit more of those high calibre student-athletes to CBU.”

And while those announcers were paying homage to a decade of excellence, the CAPERS were doing what they do best, winning another game to push their unbeaten record for 2012 to 5-0-0, good for first place in the AUS and a No. 10 ranking in the CIS polls.