The Golden Bears soccer team finished fourth in the Canada West playoffs and achieved a second-place finish in the prairie division.
This season, Canada West returned to its standard schedule, which had the Bears play 14 conference games in total. The Bears achieved a regular season record of five wins, two losses, and seven ties.
In the 2022 preseason coaches poll, the Bears were ranked at third-place. The rankings had the Bears behind the University of British Columbia Thunderbirds in first, and the Mount Royal University Cougars in second.
In the Canada West playoffs, the Bears defeated the University of Northern British Columbia Timberwolves 5-0 in the quarter-final game. In the semi-final game, the Bears lost 0-3 to the Thunderbirds. The Bears played the Cougars in the bronze medal game, where the Cougars defeated the Bears 1-2.
Martin Fenger-Andersen, the head coach of the Golden Bears soccer team, said that the team had a good season. This season was Fenger-Andersen’s fourth season as head coach for the Bears.
“I felt [this season] was the result of many good performances during the year and then obviously to win a playoff game and get to the final four was a good step for our team,” Fenger-Andersen said.
The team’s appearance in the final four was their first since 2017. The head coach noted that the Canada West soccer league is “very competitive.”
“Obviously we didn’t get the result we wanted or come away with a medal but I think we did a lot of good work this year that hopefully will carry forward into the future.”
Fenger-Andersen said that the team had a deep roster and did not rely on one player. The team’s scoring statistics were spread out “quite evenly across the group.”
“That was the strength of our team, is that we didn’t have to rely on one or two guys to do all the scoring each game. It seemed like it was someone new chipping in with a key goal or assist.”
The coach said that this season the Bears were able to gain a lot of experience. “[The Bears have] put up some points in our league and hopefully next year they come back and can do even more.”
Going into the 2023 season, the team will graduate a “few key guys,” according to Fenger-Andersen. He also said that the team has a lot of returning talent.
“I feel that we have a lot of talent in our team that’s coming back next year and even for years beyond that,” Fenger-Andersen said. “Being able to come back next year with almost the majority of our roster returning, hopefully sets us up for a successful year.”
The team’s sights are always set to be competitive in their division, and first place in the prairies.
“Ideally, we’d be taking the next step, winning [the] final four matches, getting ourselves to a national championship, but we understand that’s the goal of every team as well. We’re in a really competitive league so we’ve got a lot of work to do.”
Fenger-Andersen said that he is always optimistic and has “a lot of belief” in players. “Hopefully next year we can aim for another really good season.”
To prepare for the next season, the head coach said that the team will continue to build on the work that the Bears are doing.
“We don’t have to change too much of what we’re doing but keep having the guys competing together and growing,” Fenger-Andersen said. “I’ve seen a lot of growth in our previous winter semesters from some players which has led to them having a good season in the fall. So that’s the aim again this winter.”
Fenger-Andersen encouraged more fans to come out to the Bears games.
“The more fans we can get out, and the more student body that can come out and support us would be great. It rubs off on the players too. It seems to give them a little bit of a lift when there’s a nice crowd there.”