It might still be 7 months away, but Lauren Symes can’t wait to get started at Dalhousie Agricultural Campus.
The 17-year-old Bridgewater resident was recently announced as the newest addition to the Rams women’s soccer team and is coming to the campus in the Fall to enrol in its pre veterinary program.
“I’m very excited,” Symes, who is set to graduate in June from Parkview Education Centre, said. “I’ll get to expand my knowledge about animals and get more experience with them in order to better pursue my career. The campus really has a lot to offer.”
Along with her work in the classroom, Symes will also be facing plenty on the pitch. The defender is joining a leaky Rams back end which surrendered a league-high 49 goals in just 12 Atlantic Collegiate Athletic Association (ACAA) matches last season. The Rams finished joint bottom of the seven-team conference with the Crandall Chargers with a 1-11 record after going all the way to the national championship tournament in 2017 and finishing atop the conference table at 8-1-3 (W-L-T).
However, Symes, coupled with fellow recent defensive addition and North River resident Baillie Lynds, should aid the situation. Symes brings a wealth of experience with 12 years of playing soccer under her belt with South Shore United, Thunder FC and several school sides. She’s also won provincial titles with both Thunder FC and South Shore and has been coaching for the past five seasons from the Under-4 to Under-13 Level. She hopes to put that resume to good use for the Rams.
“I feel like my leadership skills, dedication and hard work will be an asset to the team,” Symes said.
Rams coach Jackie Ryan agreed and added she can’t wait to get Symes suited up in black, gold and white.
“She’s a very experienced player who I look forward to adding to our defensive line,” Ryan said. “She adds pace and communication and has a tremendous work ethic.”
Symes should also be an asset to the campus. As a full international baccalaureate student, she is a high achiever in the classroom. Symes is also a contributor to her community, having been presented with Soccer Nova Scotia’s Community Player of the Year Award in 2017 for volunteer work in her hometown.
“I love getting involved in my community,” she said. “Taking on a leadership role has also helped me empower other people and I like to be a role model for younger athletes within the community. So many people have helped me reach where I am today and I am very thankful to be able to give back to them and the community.”
Rams bolster defence
North River’s Baillie Lynds commits to Dalhousie AC women’s soccer squad
BIBLE HILL – Baillie Lynds always knew her first step into life after high school would be onto the Dalhousie Agricultural Campus.
That dream will become reality this Fall for the 17-year-old North River resident after she recently announced her commitment to the school and its women’s soccer program for the 2019-20 school year.
“I am extremely excited to commit to Dal AC,” Lynds, who will be pursuing a Bachelor of Science degree, said. “It’s always been my first choice for post-secondary education.”
The move was a no-brainer for Lynds, who is set to graduate from Cobequid Educational Centre in the Spring. Aside from the campus being close to home, Lynds was also attracted to the school’s small campus atmosphere with all the benefits of a large university. Lynds had become familiar with Dalhousie AC the over the past several years by attending public events there as well as women’s soccer matches.
“It captured my interest,” she said. “Dal AC offers strong science programs and it gives me the opportunity to continue to play soccer.”
Lynds joins a women’s soccer program that had a rough 2018 season in the Atlantic Collegiate Athletic Association (ACAA). The Rams finished joint-bottom of the seven-team conference with the Crandall Chargers with a 1-11 record while surrendering a league-high 49 goals in 12 matches. It was a season of transition for the Rams after going all the way to the national championship tournament in 2017 and finishing atop the conference standings at 8-1-3 (W-L-T).
Nonetheless, the centre back is looking forward to trying to return the Rams back to contending status and further her skills at the college level.
“I’m looking forward to playing in the ACAA,” she said. “I’m very determined to give my best effort every time I step on the field to support the goals of my team.”
Lynds patrolled the pitch with the Cobequid Cougars varsity high school side this Fall and also has experience at the club level with the CC Riders and XFC programs. Currently she is playing senior women’s winter soccer in New Glasgow.
Rams coach Jackie Ryan is excited to add a player of Lynds experience to the fold.
“She’s an elite player who will join our program and be a difference-maker right away,” she said. “She brings a lot of skill, experience and leadership, not to mention a great character that will be an amazing addition to our program.”
Lynds has been playing soccer since she was four years old. That experience, and her position at the back, has allowed her to be able to anticipate the play and convert that to her teammates up the pitch.
“I enjoy playing defence,” she said. “It allows me to see the field and read and communicate the play to my teammates.”
Baillie will continue the family tradition at the DAL AC. Her mother Jean , played for the NSAC Rams and was a Nova Scotia College Conference MVP , while her brother Jack has just completed two years for the Soccer Rams, before moving to continue his Engineering Degree at DAL Halifax in the fall of 2019.