Carlton alumnus Izsak excited for Canada West season with Huskies Women’s Soccer team

Electric Umbrella/Huskie Athletics. Taryn Iszak of the University of Saskatchewan Huskies prepares to kick the ball during Canada West action last season.

The countdown is on for the University of Saskatchewan Huskies Women’s Soccer team as they are set to open the 2023 Canada West season this coming weekend in Edmonton against the MacEwan Griffins and University of Alberta Pandas.

This year’s edition of the Huskies will feature a lot of new talent that was recruited during the offseason. Prince Albert product and Carlton grad Taryn Iszak will look to be a steady, veteran presence as a defender for the team.

She says the team is exceptionally close, despite all the new players joining the team.

“We have about ten new recruits joining our team this year, so we have a lot of new talent coming in, which is exciting to see. Already our team dynamic is close knit and we’re all looking to go forward with the same goals in mind. We’re super excited about that and we’re ready to take on this season this year.”

Last season, the Huskies finished third in the Canada West Prairie Division with a 7-4-3 record, before falling to Trinity Western 3-0 in a Canada West quarter final.

Iszak says the Huskies are looking to improve on last season’s record.

“One thing that our team talks about is our standard, and one of our standards is owning our role. As a third-year player, I think it’s very important to set a high standard for the new recruits coming in, just knowing that we all play a part on and off the field. We are team players, but we’re also here to grow as people as well.”

The Huskies already have a pair of games under their belt this season, as they played a pair of pre-season games on the road against the University of Lethbridge Pronghorns and University of Calgary Dinos.

Saskatchewan came away with a 4-1 win in Lethbridge last Saturday, with Iszak contributing on the scoresheet with the Huskies second goal of the game. The result would not be as favorable for the Huskies on Sunday. They failed to find the back of the net in a 5-0 loss to Calgary.

Despite the mixed results from the pre-season, Iszak says the Huskies were able to gain valuable experience as a team.

“Each game that we play is another step forward. I think we fell forward as a team, so it might have not went in our favor for scores for the second match anyways, but we learned a lot from that game and all we can do is grow. I know we’re a team that is ready to grow and continue to succeed. it’s all just learning opportunities and that’s another step to building our team up and not just on the field, but it was a great bonding experience for all of us.”

Taryn is not the only member of her family to don the Huskie uniform as her older sister Payton spent four seasons in Saskatoon as a member of the Women’s soccer program. In four seasons as a Huskie, Payton Iszak recorded 16 goals and 10 assists in 55 career games.

The Iszak sisters played together on the Huskies during the 2021 and 2022 seasons.

“It’s definitely a very grateful feeling.” Taryn said about the opportunity to play alongside her older sister. “I’m proud to be a Huskie and it’s great to have a family member that was a part of it, too. It definitely made me feel super comfortable being there. We always challenged each other a lot in sports, in school, whatever we did. It was great to have that compete level against her to get our minutes on the field.

The Huskies open the Canada West season on Saturday, Aug. 26 when they take on the MacEwan Griffins at Clarke Stadium. Kick off is at 12 p.m.