SYDNEY, N.S. - Rebecca Lambke found her love for sports when she began playing Timbits soccer for the Antigonish Minor Soccer Association.
From that moment, the 18-year-old had an idea soccer was going to play a big part of her life. And she wasn’t wrong.
Today, the Antigonish native is one of five rookie players in their first year with the Cape Breton Capers women’s soccer team, also including Haley Kardas, Erin Freeman, Rayhana Jean-Babtiste, and Amy Lynch, a Sydney native.
“Last fall, I attended a recruitment trip to Cape Breton University and the girls were all really welcoming, along with the coaching staff, so it really made me feel like home,” said Lambke, as to why she chose to play for the Capers.
During her soccer career, Lambke has played with many teams, including with the Dr. J.H. Gillis Royals in the Nova Scotia School Athletic Federation and the Antigonish U21 senior team.
In 2017, Lambke, who’s enrolled in the bachelor of science program at CBU, was named the most valuable player of both her high school and under-21 teams and was the co-athlete of the year at the Antigonish school.
With being a rookie player, Lambke has already noticed the difference between high school and university soccer.
“I’m still trying to find my spot on the field and transitioning into it,” said Lambke.
“University soccer is a lot quicker than high school and you don’t have much time on the ball.”
Lambke, who was originally a defender before being converted into a midfielder in her Grade 11 year, is looking forward to continuing her career with the Capers.
“We’re taking things one game at a time and we’re learning on the fly and seeing how things turn out,” said Lambke.
The Capers program lost five starters from last year’s Atlantic University Sport-winning roster, including keeper Lysianne Trottier, Robyn Novorolsky, Alyssa Armstrong, Keona Simmonds and Tamara Brown.
Kardas took over the keeper’s position from Trottier, but the Halifax native hasn’t played a game this season because of a torn quad muscle.
“We had two really good weekends and the teams we’ve played have been decent, so things are looking promising,” said Kardas, noting although she’s not on the field, she continues to be supportive of her teammates.
Kardas, who last year played for Halifax West High School, suffered the injury in August while playing with Halifax Dunbrack in club-league action.
“It happened two games before the playoffs and I had to keep playing,” said Kardas of the injury. “We made it to nationals and then it kept getting worse from there. I’m back training now and hopefully I’ll be back soon.”
Kardas, who was a member of the Nova Scotia Canada Games team that captured bronze in 2017, is scheduled to have an MRI in the near future, but no timeline has been set for her season debut.
The Capers (4-0) will continue their AUS regular season today when they host the Prince Edward Island Panthers (1-2-1) at 3 p.m. at the Cape Breton Health Recreation Complex in Sydney.
Cape Breton blanked UPEI 3-0 last Sunday in Charlottetown.
The Panthers roster includes two Cape Breton players, third-year midfielder Andrea Mahoney of Sydney and first-year keeper Julie Anne Reid of River Ryan.
Following the women’s game, the Capers (3-0-1) men’s team will take to the field to take on Sydney’s Josh MacKillop and the Panthers (1-1-2), starting at 5:15 p.m.