Prince Rupert’s female soccer players have been lacing up their cleats, playing the game they love and discovering a broader community they didn’t realize existed.
“I didn’t realize how big the women’s soccer community was in north when we started this,” said Brittane O’Connor, one of the organizer’s of the Prince Rupert Breakers Breezers. “It’s actually pretty crazy, there’s a tournament pretty much every weekend.”
Every week, 20-25 women get together to play on either the Patullo or Charles Hays Secondary School soccer pitches where they have either been practicing or playing in mini 7-on-7 games. O’Connor said the group is made up of women who were invited to play against the CHSS girls senior soccer team, who was looking for local competition to practice against as they prepared for zones in the spring.
Most of the women played in the coed 7-on-7 soccer league that plays weekly, but were more interested in playing competitive soccer against other female athletes.
“A lot of us used to play either at CHSS or PRSS (Prince Rupert Secondary School) and the older women’s teams would play against us,” O’Connor said. “So it was kind of a full circle thing.”
At the end of the CHSS season, the group continued to play together, using the available time slot at Patullo field. Eventually, they played their first game as a team on May 13 against Kitimat, a game they won 7-1. Next, the team travelled to Terrace where they lost to the women’s team 4-1.
Despite the loss, O’Connor said the team were happy to be back on the field.
“It was just nice to play competitive soccer again,” O’Connor said.
Next, the team hosted a four-team tournament over Seafest weekend featuring teams from Terrace, Kitwanga, and Hazelton, finishing runner up.
O’Connor said the team plans to continue playing in tournaments during the summer, playing in one per month before planning a more structured schedule next season.
Ultimately, O’Connor said it’s nice for the women in the city to have a place where they can go to compete against each other again.
“It’s just nice for us to get our there and play again,” she said. “Soccer was such a big part of our lives and there hasn’t been any women’s soccer in Rupert for such a long time.”