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    CHRONO SPORTS

  • Saturday, July 22, 2000

    Lesson learned for Lisa

    By DALE OVIATT -- Calgary Sun

     When the university soccer season rolls around, Lisa Unsworth might have a few things up her sleeve.

     The 29-year-old Calgarian recently returned from Euro 2000, where she learned a few tricks of the trade.

     She hopes to put them into motion in a couple of months when she takes on her new role as head coach of the St. Francis Xavier University women's soccer team.

     "It's obviously a different level, but the tactics they use, the way the coaches work, the way they deal with the media, how they approach the game, is a huge benefit," said Unsworth.

     The one-time Calgary Dinos player (1988-93) took in eight games during the tourney, including the two semifinals and the final.

     "I don't have the vocabulary to put into words what that tournament means," said Unsworth. "But for a soccer fan, that tournament is just excellent.

     "European soccer is phenomenal. I'm addicted to live soccer, I don't think I can watch soccer on TV again."

     While she won't have any Zinedine Zidanes, Thierry Henrys or Luis Figos in her St. FX lineup, she's looking forward to the challenge.

     "They have such a good program already," said Unsworth. "They were Number Seven in the country last year, so it's a little scary going in there."

     Unworth has spent the last six years coaching in the U.S. with stops at Gonzaga in Eastern Washington, a small university in Southern Missouri, where she did some graduate work, and 14 months at the University of Kansas, her most recent gig.

     However, her idea of sports and education didn't quite match the philosophy of some NCAA schools -- including Kansas.

     "They were a bigger school. They were concerned about academics, but it wasn't as much of a concern," she said.

     "Sports came first, school second."

     Unsworth's position at St. FX is the ulimate in her mind -- combining coaching and teaching.

     She expects to teach an activity class as well as one or two lectures, while guiding the soccer team to bigger and better things.

     And while she has followed the U of C and the Canada West University Athletic Assocation, the rest of the CIAU is a complete mystery.

     "I don't know too much about CIAU," said Unsworth. "I followed Canada West, but I'm looking forward to experiencing, as a coach, the different soccer flavour on the east coast."

     Of course, she wouldn't mind taking a bit of home to Nova Scotia.

     "We're always looking to recruit from around here," said Unsworth. "We may have a Mount Royal College player coming out this year, but I'm not sure of the status on that.

     "But if there are any players interested, we're looking."



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