'Caps at College

Vancouver products impress in college openers

Major League Soccer may be entering the final stretch, but for our younger ‘Caps at college the season is just getting underfoot with many playing in openers this week. In keeping with their Blue & White pedigree, a number of Whitecaps FC players got off to a good start. so without further ado, here is our own honour roll.

WOMEN

On Friday, ‘Caps alums Christine Sinclair and Sophie Schmidt were honoured by their alma mater – the University of Portland Pilots – for their achievements at the recent 2012 Olympic Summer Games in London. Their appearance seemed to help inspire the Pilots, as they upset the number four ranked University of North Carolina.

Monday saw a different result for the Pilots, however, as ‘Caps women’s player Erin Uchacz and her Oregon State Beavers defeated Portland for the first time ever at Merlo Field, winning 1-0 despite the absence of fellow ‘Caps Jenna Richardson and Chelsea Buckland (recovering from a torn ACL).

Richardson was busy making her presence felt on the international stage scoring a goal for the Canadian women’s U-20 national team in their match against Norway. Despite a tremendous effort though the girls fell 2-1 and are now tied with Norway for second spot in the group stage of the 2012 FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup

Washington State women's soccer showcased their 'Caps talent with Brandi Vega tallying a goal and Gurveen Clair posting a shutout in their 2012 season opener, a 3-0 win over Gonzaga. Check out this video of Brandi's stunner and her thoughts on her first goal of the season HERE. Three other 'Caps are teammates at Washington State including Katie Turney, Alison Fenter and Nicole Sutterland who is currently away with Canada'a U-20 squad.

Seven members of Whitecaps FC are currently play for Vancouver’s University of British Columbia Thunderbirds: Janine Frazao, Alyssa Williamson, Shayla Chorney, Tamara Roughhead, Madison Guy, Megan Pasternak and Navneet Samra. With so many 'Caps it's not surprising that UBC kicked off their preseason with an 3-2 exhibition victory over Pacific Western Athletic Association defending champions Thompson Rivers WolfPack.

Finally, defender Lindsay Johansen helped earn a clean sheet for Arkansas State soccer team in a 6-0 victory for their home opener against Arkansas-Pine Bluff.

MEN

University of New Mexico freshman Ben McKendry made a good first impression as he helped his Lobos team to victory. The U-18 'Caps Residency graduate scored in a 3-2 defeat of Cal State Northridge in an exhibition match on August 16th.

Clan defender Jason Van Blerk, alongside fellow 'Caps alum Alex Rowley, got off to a good start with Simon Fraser, assisting a goal in a preseason friendly against Oregon State Beavers on August 18th.

Daniel Stanese - another member of last season's standout U-18 team - is looking forward to the season opener with his Florida Gulf Coast Eagles on August 24 when they take on Darren Mattocks and Michael Nanchoff's former school, the University of Akron Zips.