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U of M coach shoots for Olympic berth
Soccer star Desiree Scott is hoping Team Canada will score a qualification berth at this summer’s Olympic Games in London.
Scott, the assistant coach of the University of Manitoba Bisons women’s soccer team, has made the 20-player roster for the 2012 CONCACAF Women’s Soccer Qualifying Tournament.
Eight teams will fight for two available spots — and the right to book their flights to England’s capital — from Jan. 19 to 29 in Vancouver.
Team Canada will face Haiti on the opening day, before playing Cuba on Jan. 21 and tackling Costa Rica two days later. The two successful nations must make it to the final to qualify.
Speaking from the team’s pre-tournament training camp in California, Scott told The Sou’wester that Team Canada’s opponents should not be taken lightly.
"We can never underestimate the competition. When it’s do-or-die time, I think any team can win because so much is on the line," said Scott, 24.
"But I am very confident in our team and our ability to get out of our group."
Scott, a defensive midfielder who has now made 31 full international appearances, is flourishing in light of her gold-medal winning appearance in October’s Pan Am Games final against Brazil.
"What we accomplished at the Pan Am Games was just a glimpse of what I think our team has to offer and hopefully we just continue to build on that and grow in the future."
Following an illustrious playing career with the Bisons, the current assistant coach has also been nominated for the 2011 Manitoba Female Athlete of the Year — although she won’t mind missing the ceremony.
"It’s always great to be pooled with into a group of such elite athletes, so I am honoured just for that, but to go on and win it would be a huge accomplishment for me, so we’ll see," Scott said.
"The awards dinner is on Jan. 29. I will hopefully be playing in the final and know our nation is en route to the Olympics during the time of the ceremony. I’ll be sad to not be there, but duty calls and I’m extremely excited."
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