Whether or not that translates into a changing of the guard at the top of the five-team league is yet to be seen, especially given that the 11-time defending champion Swift Current Ardens aren’t about to go quietly into the night.
But you can bet they’ll be giving it their best shot.
The Spirits had five goals from Meisie Chamberlain and built a 7-0 first-half lead on their way to a 12-0 victory over the Peacock Tornadoes as action kicked off Saturday at Sunningdale Field.
“We had a good start, but we have a lot of work to put in to play the kind of game we want to play,” said Spirits coach Daniel Atkins. “So it’s the kind of result we wanted but there’s still a lot of work ahead of us… I’m proud of how the girls played today and I think there’s a lot of potential on this team.”
Molly Morris added three goals for Vanier while Ava Viczko scored twice to go along with single markers from Gracie Bzdel and Rylan Morhart.
The Spirits came into the season with a lot of turnover from their 2018 squad, leaving the coaching staff with a few questions as to where they might fit into things. Turns out, that answer might be exceptionally positive.
“We needed a lot of good younger players and they’ve shown up, so I was expecting to have a good season but it might be even better than expected,” Atkins said.
The ultimate question, naturally, is whether or not they’ll have enough to take on the Ardens and fellow perennial powerhouse Weyburn Eagles.
“That’s our aim, obviously, to be able to beat those teams,” Atkins said. “So we’re going to train hard and keep working hard to get to that level.”
The Tornadoes, meanwhile, found themselves playing their second game of the day after putting together a competitive showing in their opener, where the Central Cyclones took a 4-1 victory.
Sam Chell and Katherine MacDonald scored first-half goals as Central built a 2-0 lead before Junea Wilderman and Sage McCulloch added single markers after the break.
Eden Gusa scored the lone goal for Peacock.
League action continues Tuesday, Sept. 10 when Central faces Vanier. Game time is 4:30 p.m. at Sunningdale West.