Some people bring scarves to a match to show support for their team. Others bring banners, the occasional fan may even wave a flag.
Carolyn Duthie shows her support with baked goods.
“I can’t even remember where the idea for the cookies came from,” she admits when speaking to CanPL.ca. “I guess I just thought it would be fun to do something for Pacific FC’s first game. I enjoy baking, but rarely have an opportunity to bake a bunch of stuff for people so this seemed like a good time.”
Duthie documented the baking process on her Twitter account and her cookies became a hit, both online and in-stadium. She even convinced security guards to let her bring a plate of them into the grounds, despite their clear “no outside food” rules.
“So I could give them to Clare Rustad,” she states of the former Canadian women’s national team member. “She told me she wanted one and who am I to deny Clare Rustad?”
However, for Duthie, bringing baked goods to (let alone into) the stadium is no easy feat. Her and her boyfriend, Ben Massey, travel a fair distance to attend games; a journey that involves several modes of transportation and, occasionally, camping gear.
When the CPL was first announced, the pair decided that they would get tickets to the closest team to them — which turned out to be Pacific — despite Duthie originally being from Montreal. And though their original support may have been due to geography, their fandom became stronger thanks in part to Duthie’s favourite member of the team: Stewie the Starfish.
“He’s just lovable and adorable-looking enough that everyone loves him,” Duthie says. “Stewie is far and away the best mascot in the league, so he has become my favourite member of the team.”
“The Pacific FC website bio of Stewie clearly says he was born in July of 2018, explains Duthie. “So I just picked a July home game I was going to and deemed it ‘Stewie’s Birthday Party.’”
To celebrate, she baked cupcakes in the shape of the mascot to handout on the day in honour of the enchanting Echinodermata.
But don’t get her wrong, Duthie is more than just a mascot enthusiast; she has been a supporter of Canadian soccer for years leading up to Pacific’s establishment.
“I’ve been following the national teams and the (Montreal) Impact since I was a kid,” she says. “Also, when the National Women’s Soccer League (NWSL) first started and I was living in Montreal, I would go to as many Boston Breakers (RIP) and Western New York Flash (also RIP) home games as I could, making for some occasionally questionable amounts of driving in one day.”
Duthie even travelled to France earlier this year to cheer on the Canadian women’s national team with fellow Voyageurs (members of the Canadian soccer supporters group) at the 2019 Women’s World Cup.
When it comes to the CPL, “it’s been a fun season,” she reflects on Pacific. “It’s been good to see some of the young talents that have emerged and, hopefully, with all the young players having a year under their belt, the team can perform a bit better and more consistently [next season].”
“[My favourite moment] was definitely the goal Zach Verhoven scored from, like, midfield against York9; he was so close to scoring all season and could never finish, so of course, his first goal came like that. It was also cool to see the progress on the stadium over the summer as construction was progressively finished,” she adds.
And speaking of finished, as the inaugural season slowly draws to close, Duthie is still undecided on what to bake for Pacific’s last home game.
“I’m thinking Pacific FCinnamon Buns,” she says. “But if anyone has any ideas, I’m all ears.”