Rachelle Aucoin, of Cheticamp, who plays for Valley United in the Nova Scotia Women’s AAA Soccer League, was the league’s top scorer this year with 15 goals in 16 games, earning her a prestigious Golden Boot.
-by Bill Dunphy
Rachelle Aucoin got a kick out of playing soccer this summer.
The 21-year-old Cheticamp native, who now lives in Wolfville and is in her fourth year of kinesiology at Acadia University, lit up the Nova Scotia Women’s AAA Soccer League with 15 goals in 16 games with Valley United to win the league’s Golden Boot.
Aucoin is also a striker with the Acadia Axewomen, where she was named rookie of the year in her first Atlantic University Sport season and has since been a key member of the team.
In an interview, Aucoin said she is continuing to reach her potential.
“It was a really good summer; things really fell into place. I’m on the field every day, living local (she’s a five-minute walk from the field), training here, and working with my coaches. With all that combined, it’s more like I’m just hitting my stride – reaching my potential,” she said.
Along with working towards graduating next May, and playing soccer, Aucoin is also a certified personal trainer and works at the Acadia Performance Centre.
As captain of Valley United, Aucoin led the team to a first-place finish in the seven-team league with a 12-2-3 won-lost-tied record.
And starting off her AUS season with Acadia last week, she had two goals and an assist in beating St. Mary’s 6-0 and an assist in a 4-0 win over Mount Allison.
Aucoin, who was recruited by Acadia after a stellar high school career playing on the NDA Acadiens boys’ team, said moving up to the university level wasn’t as difficult as she imagined.
“It was a smooth transition. The biggest thing for me was the pace of the game. But you get used to it and then it becomes more of a mental aspect.”
Aucoin’s dedication to the sport began early. At age 11 she began travelling to Sydney to play in the provincial under-12 league. She also won back-to-back Atlantic Canada championships playing with the Nova Scotia under-16 team.
“Adjusting physically to the university game was not a big issue,” Aucoin said, who is only five-feet tall. “I travelled so much to play soccer that it was almost like a business. There was no fooling around when I was on the field and I’m like that now when I’m on the field for practice or a game.”
Aucoin tipped her hat to her parents, Réné and Shelly, for supporting her dream to be an elite soccer player and driving her to Sydney each week for practices and games.
“Now I can just walk to the field, but they are still travelling. They drive to every game,” she said.
And it looks like they will be travelling a little while longer. Aucoin said even though she is graduating in May, she is thinking about returning to school to play her fifth year of eligibility.
After that, and unless she is recruited by Canada’s national team, she will continue to play in the Nova Scotia league.
“There is no professional women’s league in Canada. There is in the U.S. and that’s where Team Canada members play. It’s a dream of mine, but not likely to happen.”
From this side of the pitch, it would be difficult to rule out anything Rachelle Aucoin puts her mind to, especially if she keeps putting the ball in the net.
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