The Portage Collegiate Saints soccer team is happy with the way they have begun their season.

The squad went to Kenora this past weekend for a tournament that acted as a warm-up for the season. Coach Ashley Williams says they played in five games, and three of them went to a shootout. She notes they finished third out of seven teams and adds it was a great way to build team chemistry.

"It was a great opportunity for the girls to get to know each other and form a team bond before the regular season started," Williams explains. "We didn't know what to expect from the girls, so we saw this as more of a major practice opportunity. We got to iron out some kinks and figure out what positions everyone would play."

The coach gives immense credit to their goaltender Violet Wilson, who had to deal with three shootouts in her first time ever playing between the pipes. 

Williams says their hope was to figure out how they wanted to play by the time the regular season rolled around, which is exactly what they were able to do, starting it off with a victory.

"We had a slow start to the game, the other coaches and I were a little concerned. The girls weren't playing too aggressively, we were letting the other team get to the ball first, and we were kind of watching the other team control the game. But at the half it was still 0-0," Williams continues. "One of our other coaches, Dillon Grant, had a really good talk with them at halftime. We encouraged them to play hard as they did in the tournament, and in the second half, they did really well. Paige McCulloch and Charlie Holmes both scored goals in the second half, and we ended up winning 2-0."

The Saints took down the St. James Jimmies in their first outing and also won their second road game last night 3-1 against the John Taylor Pipers. PCI is in action once again today as they welcome the Shaftesbury Titans to town in their home opener at 4:30.

The coach says they have a jampacked season this year due to the weather and notes the postseason will start next week.

"As long as we're in the top four out of the six teams, we should have a playoff spot on Thursday. Depending on how we do in that game, we would play again the following Monday," says Williams. "That's all up in the air until we see how we do with the rest of our games."

PCI will be on the road again on Monday and Wednesday next week with the only home game of the regular season going down today at Rotary Republic of Manitobah Park. Kick-off is set for 4:30.