Former Pinnacle makes adjustment

Pinnacles FC product Marisa Mendonca makes successful jump to CIS level with TRU WolfPack

MARISA MENDONCA in action against the UNBC Timberwolves in Canadian Interuniversity Sport action. Mendonca

Marisa Mendonca experienced big change making the jump from the Pinnacles Football Club to the Thompson Rivers University WolfPack.

“The competitiveness and commitment and speed of the game was all up a few levels compared to what I was used to back at home,” said Mendonca, whose season ended when she sustained a separated shoulder while being sandwiched in the box on Oct. 25 in a 2-0 win over the UNBC Timberwolves.

Coach Tom McManus said all rookies time to adjust to the speed and physicality of the Canadian Interuniversity Sport.

“I usually tell players if you think your fit, get 10 times fitter and then you will be almost ready to play,” he said.

She played in 13 of 14 games and started in the regular season finale. It took Mendonca nearly half the season to feel comfortable. That came through hard work and being pushed by teammates who put a game mentality into every drill.

“That really helped me. To be able to make the decisions faster and know how quick I had to take my touch,” she said, adding that her development with Pinnacles FC helped with her transition to the university level.

The shoulder injury forced Mendonca out of the WolfPack’s lone playoff game, a 6-1 loss in the CIS quarter-final against the UBC Thunderbirds on Oct. 30. Mendonca described missing that as “pretty heart breaking.”

“We all worked hard as a team together, supporting each other,” she said. “Whether you are on the field or off the field, to have the final game … just because of a tackle in the box and you can’t have done anything about it and then to have that taken away was pretty tough.”

What she enjoyed most of her first season was the new atmosphere and speed of play.

“There is a lot more intensity that came with it,” she said. “It was good to help me develop as a player.”

While the WolfPack’s season has only been over for two weeks, McManus is already excited for next season. After using Mendonca as a striker with Jaydene Radu and Danielle Fauteux, a large opportunity opens up for Mendonca with three strikers graduating.

“It’s going to be wide open for her to take it by the scruff of the neck,” he said.

Mendonca, called Rees, by her teammtes, managed three shots on goal during the season and collected an assist.

“It felt really good. When I was put on the field, I accomplished what I was supposed to do out there,” she said. “I helped the team get that extra goal.”

One of the things that McManus loves about Mendonca is how she gets the ball. She accepts it with her back to the goal, then spins and fires it. That is a skill he will continue to push with her. He also said she is very good to coach and described her as a “ happy go-lucky person.”

“Now she knows what I expect,” he said.

The highlight of Mendonca’s season was meeting new teammates and being able to play at the university level. She loved the team bonding and earned her nickname on the first day.

“It was really cool to be accepted like that right away,” said Mendonca, who responds naturally to Rees. “It was from the first game before the season even started. They were coming up with names. They are open to accepting new people. Make them feel welcome.”


Just Posted

Penticton man charged following armed standoff gets bail

Information on the proceedings is limited due to publication ban

Volunteers needed for Penticton’s Santa Claus Parade

The annual parade kicks off at 4:30 p.m. on Dec. 7

Penticton field hockey team in Valley finals

Princess Margaret Mustangs girls field hockey team looking for berth in provincials

Grab a glass and laugh along at Giggle and Grapes at Penticton’s TIME Winery

The event features stand-up acts by comics Brittany Lyseng and Velina Taskov

The annual Penticton Wellness Fair returns this weekend

Time to get in touch with your health and wellness

Scheer says Canada more divided than ever, as NDP and Bloc hold cards close

While Liberals were shut out of two key prairie provinces, they took two-thirds of the seats in Ontario

Horvat’s hat trick lifts Canucks to 5-2 win over Red Wings

First career three-goal game for Vancouver captain

Saanich Gulf-Islands’s Elizabeth May coy about leadership plans

The federal Green party leader talks possibility of running as MP without being leader

Hundreds attend first annual climate and food conference in Kelowna

Over 25 industry experts spoke at the two-day event

Estheticians can’t be forced to wax male genitals, B.C. tribunal rules

Langley transgender woman Jessica Yaniv was ordered to pay three salon owners $2,000 each

Two youth arrested in UBC carjacking at gunpoint, after being spotted in stolen Kia

‘A great deal of credit is due the alert person who called us,’ said North Vancouver Sgt. Peter DeVries

People’s Party of Canada’s anti-immigration views ‘didn’t resonate’ with voters: prof

Party was formed on anti-immigration, climate denying views in 2018

Windstorm knocks out power for 10,000 in north and central B.C.

Power slowly being restored, BC Hydro says

Behind the blue and white Carnival clown mask

Toshie Okada is named October’s Respect Works Here Community Champion

Most Read