Women’s Soccer News

Women’s Soccer

UOIT women’s soccer team’s success comes with two pairs of sisters

Yoram Kerbel

Left to right: Olivia Tierney, Mikaela Tierney, Kaitlin Lantaigne, Allison Lantaigne. (CHRIS CAMERON/UOIT ATHLETICS)

The Lantaignes and Tierneys look forward to memories they’ll create competing alongside each other

If having success and family together on a university sports team is considered rare, the UOIT Ridgebacks women’s soccer team have created something very unique.

Allison and Kaitlin Lantaigne along with Olivia and Mikaela Tierney defy the odds and compete together for the No.2-nationally ranked Ridgebacks, but this dream didn’t just happen overnight.

For years both sets of sisters cheered for their siblings on and off the field for different reasons.

When I was little I always went to her games to watch (so I can) improve how I play. Every single game I was there watching her play, see how she plays around people and how her team plays to adjust to my playing style.

Allison Lantaigne - Rookie defender with the Ridgebacks

Allison, a rookie defender with the Ridgebacks, looks up to her older sister Kaitlin for advice because they both play the same position.

Kaitlin wouldn’t be looking for ways to improve herself by watching Allison, but rather she would be proud of her little sister using the moves she taught her.

Going to watch her and see her do a little tackle or defend herself on the field and I’m telling everyone on the sidelines that I taught her that. Then when she got in the car, I’d remind her that it was definitely me teaching her that in our backyard.

Kaitlin Lantaigne

Even while playing at the same competitive level, Allison still looks for ways to improve herself by watching Kaitlin, and Kaitlin still appreciates it when Allison uses a tip that she had taught her.

 Allison has appeared in three games this season for the Ridgebacks while older sister Kaitlin has appeared in all five wins.

Unlike the Lantaignes, the Tierney sisters started playing different positions recently. Olivia is a goalkeeper and Mikaela is a midfielder.

 Olivia made the change four years ago when her high school team was in need of a goalie and she had previously played as the backup on multiple occasions.

Basically, I decided to step up to the plate, try it out and see how it is. I ended up liking it and I’m good at it so I stayed.

Olivia Tierney - Rookie goaltender for the Ridgebacks

Although the sisters were not able to give positional on-field advice for each other, they were able to motivate one another off the field through their recent injury struggles.

“She was my support,” said Olivia on dealing with the mentality of her ACL tear. “Any problems I had I talked to her, although her case was harder than mine, she was the one that would want to help me get better.”

Both sisters recently tore their ACL. Olivia is still recovering, but Mikaela suffered her injury last year. During that period, she learned how to process and prepare for getting back on the field as quickly as possible.

“I think it’ just the whole confidence thing, You lack a lot of confidence and you don’t want to tackle because that’s how you’re going to get injured again. I had to take (Olivia) through the steps and tell her that if you’re scared you’re going to injure yourself again.

Mikaela Tierney - Ridgebacks Captain

This is Mikaela’s third season with the Ridgebacks and her first season as captain, scoring her first goal of the season on Saturday, against the University of Toronto Varsity Blues at Varsity Stadium.

 Olivia is expected back on Sept. 18, hoping to play her first game of the season when the Ridgebacks travel to Kingston, Ont., five days later to take on the Queen’s Gaels in a rematch from last seasons’ U SPORTS bronze medal and OUA Championship matches. Both games were won by UOIT last season.  

This season’s expectations are higher, as they look to recapture the OUA title and contend for a U SPORTS banner.

 “We’re hoping to do the same this year, but maybe come back with a gold and I think we have the potential,” said Mikaela. “Personally, I was just given captaincy so I’m hoping to lead my team to that victory and do what I can on the field and off the field.”