Hoping to add some scoring punch, offensive players were front and centre for UBCO Heat women’s soccer coach Craig Smith this recruiting season.
Yvonne Manwaring and Kelowna’s Hailey Wright will have a chance at playing time if they can prove during preseason that they can bring their scoring touch to the Canada West level.
Catriona McFadden and Luisa Rodriguez both come into camp as midfielders and both have found ways to score in their high school and club careers.
“We are extremely excited to integrate our new recruits with a great number of returning players,” Smith said.
Smith said he and his two assistants, Carli Tingtad and goalkeeper coach Kai Tolpinrud, are excited about the work ethic of this group.
“All the incoming players have been working extremely hard so far in camp and will have the chance to make a difference in our season this fall,” Smith said.
Wright comes from Kelowna Secondary as an accomplished soccer player and record-setting track star.
The five-foot-five attacker can play wide and as a central striker, and the team will utilize her speed to add some much-needed goal-scoring to this year's women's squad.
“In addition to Hailey’s pace, she is extremely coachable and we are excited with her potential and looking forward to watching her develop within our environment,” Smith said.
Wright will enter the Bachelor of Arts program focusing on International Relations, with the hopes of one day becoming an environmental lawyer following her degree. She was an honour roll student at KSS.
In 2015, Wright was part of a record-setting team in the 4X100-metre relay team at the B.C. high school championship, setting a new provincial mark with a time of 51.94 seconds. She also won the 100-metre dash and came second in the 200 at the same championship.
In 2013, Wright competed in Hershey, Pennsylvania, where she finished fourth in North America in her age class for the 100.
Wright, a former member of Kelowna United and now with TOFC, said she had always wanted to be a member of the Heat.
“Ever since I was a little girl playing soccer I would pass the university, idolizing the girls that play for the team, and now here I am,” she said. “I cannot wait to start this next exciting chapter in my life, as I strive to achieve everything I am capable of doing.”
On the back end, with two defenders graduating from last year's roster, Aspen Marsden and U.S. college transfer Alex Green will both get long looks from the coaching staff in the preseason to fill those missing minutes.
Here's a closer look at the rest of the 2019 recruiting class:
After two years playing for the Spring Arbor University Cougars, Green has made her way back to Canada to suit up for the Heat women's soccer team.
Originally from Toronto, the talented back from Ajax played two years in the NAIA. The five-foot-10 defender played eight games in both her freshman and sophomore campaigns.
The five-foot-three defender from Calgary is heading into Human Kinetics at UBCO. She has hopes of becoming a physiotherapist following her time with the Heat.
The graduate of William Aberhart High was the team captain of her school team and was named the MVP in her senior season. Marsden was also selected to the Alberta soccer winter training program, and her team captured the provincial title at the Alberta Summer Games in 2014.
With her club team, the Calgary Blizzard, she captured the 2013 provincial championship along with being a provincial finalist in 2015 and 2018.
In addition to earning an all-star at the B.C. high school provincial soccer championships with her Pitt Meadows team, Rodriguez is also an all-star citizen. In April of 2018, she was honoured by the Ridge Meadows RCMP for stopping an assault on a taxi driver in Maple Ridge.
It's not wonder, then, that the midfielder will take psychology at UBCO in hopes of becoming a criminal psychologist after she receives her Bachelor of Arts degree at UBCO.
This attacking midfielder from Calgary will enter Human Kinetics when she arrives on campus with the hopes of one day becoming a physiotherapist or a doctor.
In her Grade 12 year, McFadden was named athlete of the year at St. Mary's High and she has been named the MVP of her school's soccer and volleyball teams on multiple occasions. With the Saints, she captured city championships in both volleyball and soccer in her Grade 11 year.
A key attacking option for the Heat next season will come in the form of this striker from Kamloops.
Manwaring, a five-year principal's list student at Valleyview Secondary, will enter the Human Kinetics program in the fall.
A five-time member of the B.C. Provincial team, Manwaring has travelled across North America playing soccer. Named the best soccer player at Valleyview in her Grade 12 year, Manwaring led her Vikes team to a city championship this past season.