Intrigued with soccer at the young age of eight, Grace Smith continues to pursue her passion for the sport and hone her natural athleticism by joining the Red Deer Polytechnic Queens this season.
“Soccer has helped me learn how to be part of a team, whether that means with friends, work, or family,” Smith said. Contemplating turning the sport into her career, she said, “I’m not sure what the future holds for me as far as soccer goes. I plan to play next year with the Queens, see where my program leads me.”
Smith, 19, was raised in Sylvan Lake. “I first started playing soccer in Sylvan Lake just for fun as a kid around eight years old. As I got older, I was more interested and played competitively and joined summer teams and indoor teams during the winter. I started playing for the Red Deer Renegades in 2018 and finished my youth soccer with them this past summer.”
Smith is currently a first-year Bachelor of Commerce student at Red Deer Polytechnic. Along with managing her studies, Smith has also mastered juggling her soccer games and practices, sometimes twice a day, along with a balanced personal life.
“The Queens have been training all summer together, with our season beginning this fall.
“This is my first year with Queens as a first-year Bachelor of Commerce student. This season has been going well so far. We have played five regular-season games,” said Smith.
Prior to the playoffs, the Queens played their last regular-season game against Medicine Hat College on Sunday. Positioned as a player on the wing, Smith said, “We won 6-3, putting us at third position in the league. I scored one goal and made one assist.”
Smith said that they play under the ACAC (Alberta Colleges Athletic Conference) league, as part of the south division. Their season usually runs from early September to late October.
“It has been a wonderful experience being part of the Queens this year. We are all pretty close as we have spent a lot of time together over the last few months. It’s an interesting team consisting of 12 rookies outnumbering the vets on the team. There is a lot of talent on our team, and it has been great to learn from each of them,” Smith said.