Sports

They did it all for the rookies

Trojans rookies sweep Rookie of the Year Awards

SAIT Trojans women's soccer midfielder Deanna Kuan charges down the field during soccer action against Medicine Hat Rattlers at SAIT's Cohos Commons Field in Calgary on Sunday, Sept. 11, 2016. The Trojans took the Alberta Colleges Athletics Conference regular season game 2-0. (Photo by Ashley Orzel)

SAIT Trojans women’s soccer midfielder Deanna Kuan charges down the field during soccer action against Medicine Hat Rattlers at SAIT’s Cohos Commons Field in Calgary on Sunday, Sept. 11, 2016. The Trojans took the Alberta Colleges Athletics Conference regular season game 2-0. (Photo by Ashley Orzel)

For the first time in SAIT history, two Trojans soccer players – William Akio, of the  men’s team and Deanna Kuan, of the women’s – have both been awarded male and female Alberta Colleges Athletic Conference (ACAC) Rookie of the Year awards. 

 This is a tremendous accomplishment for SAIT athletics and a proud moment for the Trojans’ soccer teams. 

“It’s really awesome,” said Kuan. “I’ve played soccer continuously, but never played post-secondary. I didn’t know what to expect coming in.” 

“It’s a pretty big deal,” said Akio, on being honoured. “They chose the right players.” 

Akio graduated from St. Francis High School in Calgary, and after taking a year off, enrolled at SAIT as a legal assistant student. 

“It felt pretty good coming into my first year,” said Akio. 

“I started playing soccer when I was 12. I played all three years in high school, lost all three years in the semi-finals as well. Coming into first year at SAIT, (and) going to nationals, it really means a lot.” 

The men’s team finished first in the south division with a record of 8-2, en route to a silver medal at the ACAC provincial championships, their first silver since the 2009-10 season. 

Kuan graduated from the University of Alberta with a degree in electrical engineering and now looks to achieve a diploma in business administration at SAIT. 

The women’s team also had a successful season, finishing second in the south and setting a new Trojans women’s soccer record for wins, winning seven games this season. 

“Overall, we really came together,” said Kuan. “Everyone figured out how to play together, everything clicked this season.” 

Moving forward, Kuan believes that the women’s team is going to have “a good year next year. Everyone has the confidence that we can keep up.” 

SAIT Trojans Mens Soccer forward William Akio volleys the ball during soccer action against Red Deer College Kings at SAIT's Cohos Commons Field in Calgary on Saturday, Sept. 24, 2016. The Trojans took the game 3-1 in the Alberta Colleges Athletic Conference (ACAC) season game. (Photo by Ashley Orzel)

SAIT Trojans Mens Soccer forward William Akio volleys the ball during soccer action against Red Deer College Kings at SAIT’s Cohos Commons Field in Calgary on Saturday, Sept. 24, 2016. The Trojans took the game 3-1 in the Alberta Colleges Athletic Conference (ACAC) season game. (Photo by Ashley Orzel)

No longer rookies, Kuan and Akio both have plans to continue their careers as Trojans for at least the next two seasons, and offered some parting advice for future first-year players. 

“Don’t be nervous. Be confident, it’ll show on the field. Do more than what the coach says, do extra work on your own time. I want to be the best always when I’m on the pitch,” said Akio.

“[It just shows that] anyone coming in can make an impact,” said Kuan.

 “It reflects good on the team too. None of us can do it ourselves, it’s about having that backing. Everyone else who is on the field, who is on the bench, it makes you want do better.”

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