Dartmouth soccer players commit to Acadia

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Two Dartmouth women are the latest recruits for Acadia’s soccer team.

Rachel Cunningham and Gemma LeBlanc will join the women’s soccer team next fall.

Cunningham has emerged as one of the top defenders in the province, playing Tier 1 club soccer in Dartmouth for the past six years and for the Nova Scotia provincial team over five of those years. She has trained with the National Training Centre Atlantic from 2010-2012 and was in the player pool for the 2013 Nova Scotia Canada Games team. She captain of Prince Andrew High School's soccer team this past year.

“Rachel is one of the most difficult defenders to beat in on the dribble and is reckless with her own body just to win the ball for her team,” said Acadia head coach Amit Batra.

“She has major experience in big tournaments representing Nova Scotia as a youth player and is continually asking and wanting to improve her skills so she can not only become a better player but so that she can do whatever it takes to help her team win. Rachel fits the Acadia profile in terms of this team-first attitude.”

LeBlanc has played with Dartmouth for the past 12 years. She played on the Nova Scotia provincial team from 2008-2012, contributing to their success as Atlantic champions in 2009, 2010 and 2011. She was most recently a member of the 2013 Nova Scotia Canada Games team.

“With Gemma, we have a player who has the ability to dictate the pace of the game in central midfield with composure and accurate passing but also can take on players in wide positions which gives us a very versatile option across systems of play and positions,” Batra said. “Gemma has combined this with an extremely positive attitude, excellent academics, and continual self-improvement.”

 Cunningham and LeBlanc will be entering the Bachelor of Arts program at Acadia, with majors in Political Science and Psychology respectively.

The Axewomen, who completed the 2013 season as finalists for the first time since 1996, will open up the 2014 schedule at home versus UPEI on Sept. 5.

Organizations: Nova Scotia Canada Games, National Training Centre Atlantic, Prince Andrew High School

Geographic location: Dartmouth, Nova Scotia

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