Fifth-year file will outline the career of a graduating athlete who will soon retire the garnet and grey. These seniors have all had an impact on advancing varsity athletics in their time at the University of Ottawa.
Victoria Marchand has not spent all five years of her university career playing for the Gee-Gees women’s soccer team, but her contributions since joining the team in 2014 have been significant.
Marchand’s path to the U of O started in Gatineau and would eventually lead her to the other side of the river to play for the Algonquin College Thunder. With Algonquin, Marchand won a provincial title and was a role player on a very powerful team.
Prior to the 2014 season, Marchand transferred to the U of O where she joined the Gee-Gees team and instantly had a positive impact.
Despite only dressing in 12 games and starting in just two in 2014, Marchand scored five goals to open her career with the Gees. The team would ultimately go on to win a national bronze medal later that year.
“My first year I think I was just trying to figure out the team and coaching staff,” said Marchand. “Going from one soccer system to another was kind of difficult for me, but they made me feel so welcome.”
Last year, the striker’s role increased and she saw much more playing time. Even though she left most of the goal scoring up to teammates Julia Francki and Pilar Khoury, Marchand scored four goals in the 2015 campaign that ended in the Gee-Gees falling short of a trip to nationals.
“All of a sudden I had to step up with players like Pilar and Julia and I was like ‘Holy crap, that’s so exciting for me!’” said Marchand. “I learned so much from them and I’m just trying to take what I learned and bring it into this year.”
Coming into her final year at the U of O, Marchand knew that there would be more weight on her back this season, something she has taken in stride.
“The preparation I did this summer was a lot different,” she said, explaining that she needed to focus more on consistently getting shots on goal and setting up better for her teammates.
This new mindset has obviously paid off, since Marchand’s on-field production has spiked, scoring three goals and contributing with an assist in the 2016 season—which is shaping up to be her best yet.
“Knowing that it’s my fifth-year, it’s my last chance to leave my name on the field. Putting away goals makes me feel so damn good, but I couldn’t do it without my teammates.”