As it was supposed to be getting set to take on the country’s best competition this week in Victoria, the University of Calgary Dinos women’s soccer team was hit with an unwelcome distraction when one of its players discovered the entire squad’s uniforms had been stolen.
On Saturday in Edmonton, the team defeated the UBC Thunderbirds, winning the Canada West championship and securing a place in this week’s U Sports national championship.
But that celebration took a turn Monday morning when their jerseys went missing, according to coach Troye Flannery.
As per team tradition, the Dinos player of the game is responsible for taking home the squad’s uniforms to wash them before the next match, he said.
But as fourth-year forward Kelsie MacDonald got ready to head to class Monday, her car, which contained a Dinos Nike kit bag with the jerseys inside, was no longer on her dad’s driveway in the Oakridge neighbourhood.
Flannery said MacDonald quickly realized her car had been stolen, along with the team uniforms needed for the championship tournament. The team is set to leave for Victoria on Tuesday morning.
“I think she’s more concerned about the uniforms than she is about the car,” Flannery said.
The vehicle, a red 2004 Mazda 3, is believed to have been stolen sometime between 8 p.m. on Sunday and 9 a.m. on Monday.
“It’s tough. We’re spending the day booking flights and hotels and ground transportation and itineraries and schedules. You don’t want to have to deal with much else and unfortunately that’s been dropped in our lap,” said Flannery.
“But we’re in good spirits about it. We’ll focus on the things that we can control and that’s all we can ask.”
Amid all the uncertainty, Flannery said offers to help the team have been pouring in. Nike Canada, along with distributor T.Litzen Sports, plans to ship generic uniforms containing the team’s colours to Victoria if the originals are not found on time.
“The response from the community has been truly amazing, remarkable,” the coach said. “People from all walks of life are reaching out to us to offer support and solutions, including some peers from British Columbia and back east and so forth.”
The Dinos soccer team is scheduled to take on the University of Victoria Vikes Thursday evening for a quarter-final matchup.